Hot Weather and Dehydration

The first and most important fitness tip during the hot summer months is to keep your body hydrated. Over 70% of Americans tend to be dehydrated much of the time, often times without knowing it. Some of the side effects of dehydration include fatigue, headaches, confusion, weakness, and fainting. Medical problems resulting from dehydration include kidney stones, blood clots, a weaker immune system and even a decreased metabolism. Unfortunately, many people don’t recognize when they’re dehydrated and, without knowing, just live with it.

One of the best ways to recognize dehydration is to note the color of your urine. If your urine appears dark yellow all the time, you need more water. A good rule of thumb is to drink enough water so that your urine is almost clear at least one time every day. However, if you drink a lot of caffeine, or take diuretic medications, this rule is less reliable. So, a second way to improve your hydration is to get in the habit of drinking one glass of water when you get up in the morning, and then drink one full glass of water 15-30 minutes before each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner), in addition to what you normally drink throughout the day. Lastly, if you are in particularly hot weather, you should be sure to drink at least one glass of water every hour.

It is smart to recognize the signs of dehydration, but preventing is even smarter. When it comes to dehydration, an ounce or two of water is really worth a pound of cure.