Summertime brings hot temperatures as well as many outdoor activities. With that being said, it is important to stay properly hydrated and know the signs of dehydration. Drinking the right amount of fluids is always important, especially in warm weather, to keep the body from overheating.
When participating in outdoor activities, such as running, biking, walking, yard work, gardening, or swimming, be aware of your fluid intake. Fluids should be consumed before, during, and after an activity to maintain an adequate hydration status. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, to avoid dehydration in the heat, active people should drink at least 16 to 20 ounces of fluid 1 to 2 hours prior to an outdoor activity. After that, 6 to 12 ounces of fluid should be consumed every 10 to 15 minutes that you are outside. After your activity, at least another 16 to 24 ounces should be consumed to replace the fluid that has been lost through sweat.
When deciding what type of beverage to rehydrate with, consider these factors: duration of activity and intensity of activity. If you plan on doing non-strenuous outdoor activities for 1 to 2 hours, water is all you need. If you are outside for more than 2 hours, or if you are doing more strenuous activities, a sports drink or some other kind of electrolyte-enhanced beverage would be a better choice for rehydration. Not only are you replacing the fluids in your body, but also the chemicals, such as sodium and potassium, that are lost from sweating. Try to avoid beverages like coffee, tea, alcohol, and other caffeinated drinks, as they can promote dehydration.
Signs of Dehydration
- Flushed skin
Rehydrating should occur on a timed basis, not in reaction to thirst, as thirst is a sign one is already dehydrated. If you think someone is experiencing symptoms of dehydration, seek medical attention.
Staying properly hydrated in the summer heat will make your outdoor activities a more enjoyable experience. To make your fluid intake more interesting, try adding fresh fruit, mint leaves, or cucumber slices to your water! Stay safe and stay hydrated this summer!
Written by Taylor Thompson, Certified Personal Trainer & Nutritionist at Elite Sports Club – Brookfield
Taylor has a B.S. in Dietetics from UW-Stevens Point and is an American Council of Exercise (ACE) Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and Certified Zumba Instructor. She specializes in Nutrition & Weight Loss, Youth Training, Strength Training, and Kickboxing. Taylor enjoys dancing, traveling, cooking, and spending time with friends. She believes that you have to love yourself enough that you are willing to make changes and push yourself outside your comfort zone where big results can be achieved.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.