Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already experiencing dehydration? With summer temperatures that can soar to dangerous highs, it’s critical to make sure you stay properly hydrated, and to know the warning signs when you aren’t.
According to The Red Cross, summer heat brings on more instances of dehydration due to larger losses of body fluid through sweating. The following are symptoms of dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased urination
- Fever Delirium
According to WebMD, you should call 911 or seek immediate medical help if someone is experiencing the following symptoms:
- Extreme thirst
- Dry skin, mouth, and mucous membranes
- Little or no urination for 12 hours or more
- Increased heart rate and breathing
- Lethargy or fatigue
- Light-headedness, dizziness, or confusion
- Dehydration due to heat stroke
Obviously it’s best to be proactive and stay properly hydrated to avoid a medical emergency. Because water helps lubricate internal surfaces, flushes toxins through the kidneys, transports nutrients throughout the body, maintains healthy blood pressure, regulates body temperature and sustains healthy vital organs, it’s the best drink to reach for.1 Juices, sodas and sweetened coffee beverages can add unnecessary simple carbohydrates to your diet, and alcohol should be avoided because it causes dehydration.
So how much water should you drink to stay healthy and safe during the height of summer? The National Institute of Medicine recommends about 3 liters of fluid for males and 2 liters for women.2 Most children ages 1 to 3 need at least 35 ounces of fluid per day, those 4 to 8 need at least 46 ounces per day, boys ages 9 to 13 need at least 65 ounces per day and girls ages 9 to 13 need at least 57 ounces per day.3
Smaller children, older adults, and those with medical conditions are at a higher risk for dehydrating. If you’re going to be out in the heat, bring a bottle of water with you so you’ve always got a source of fluid when you need it, and pay close attention to the way you’re feeling. At the first sign of any discomfort, find a cool spot in the shade (or inside where it’s air conditioned) and make sure to have a drink.
411948E CAN/US (07/15)