Summertime offers a wide range of outdoor activities. From swimming and hiking to boating and canoeing, it’s easy to spend hours outside soaking up the sun, but to fully enjoy your favorite activities of the season, you’ve got to drink plenty of water. Learn more below about how you can stay hydrated all summer long – and avoid dehydration.
When temperatures rise, your body perspires more to help you cool down. As your body releases sweat to maintain your body temperature, your stores of water become depleted. If you don’t replenish your liquids, you become dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration include:
- Feeling thirsty
- Urinating less often, or having dark yellow or brown urine
- A dry mouth or cracked lips
- No tears while crying (children)
- Feeling tired or confused
- Feeling dizzy or light-headed
- Eyes that look sunken in
How much should you drink?
Thirst alone isn’t a reliable indicator of when you need to drink water. In fact, thirst is an early sign of dehydration, and should be avoided. Drink water frequently to keep your body hydrated and to avoid fatigue.
When preparing for an outdoor workout, drink about two cups of liquids two hours before the activity to ensure you are well-hydrated before you spend time outside. During your activity, drink 4-6 ounces of liquid every 15-20 minutes. If you are planning an hour-long walk or gym workout, fill a water bottle with about 16 ounces (2 cups) and sip on it as you work out. Weigh yourself before and after the activity, and if you lose any weight, drink 20 ounces of fluid for each pound of weight you lost.
Which Liquids Are Best?
For most outdoor activities, good old-fashioned tap water does the trick. If your activity lasts an hour or more, either fruit juice diluted with water or a sports drink will provide carbohydrates for energy plus minerals to replenish your electrolytes and give your glucose levels a boost.
At Baptist Health, we’re committed to helping you have your happiest, healthiest – and most hydrated – summer yet. Learn more about how you can invest in your wellbeing and build healthier habits on the BHealthy blog.