Most everyone loves the summer. Long, sunny days provide opportunities to enjoy the outdoors in a variety of ways. However, those hot sunny days also come with the risk of dehydration—which simply means that more water is moving out of our bodies than we’re replacing through drinking.
Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and other serious health issues, so it’s more important in summer to keep the fluids going along with staying out of the heat. And although there are lots of options, water is the best choice for maintaining hydration and overall health.
Causes And Symptoms Of Dehydration
In the summer, dehydration is generally caused by excessive exposure to heat combined with not taking in enough water. A sunburn or skin ailment can also cause dehydration because water is more easily lost through damaged skin.
WebMD lists these symptoms of dehydration in adults, from minor to severe:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth and swollen tongue
- Weakness, Dizziness, Fainting
- Jumping or pounding heart
- Inability to sweat
- Decreased urine output
“If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water,” says FamilyDoctor.org, “check your urine. If your urine is consistently colorless or light yellow, you are most likely staying well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber-colored urine is a sign of dehydration.”
Benefits Of Proper Hydration
Besides keeping you out of the hospital, staying hydrated has many other health benefits starting with appetite control.
The site LiveStrong.com states, “Drinking water before a meal can decrease your appetite and help prevent overeating. Researchers from the American Chemical Society found that dieters who drank 2 cups of water before each meal lost 5 more pounds over a period of 12 weeks than dieters who ate without hydrating first. In addition to diminishing your appetite, drinking enough water may also keep your metabolism working efficiently. According to the Panhandle Health District, mild dehydration can slow your metabolism by 3 percent.”
Sufficient water intake also promotes supple skin, removes toxins from your body, helps joints and muscles work better, boosts your immune system, aids digestion, balances your mood, and can make your heart work easier. Water really is a miracle drink!
Helpful Hydration Hacks
Here are some ways to keep up your water intake and stay hydrated for better health:
- Bring water with you wherever you go. To be eco-friendly, carry a reusable, refillable bottle.
- Add a slice of lemon or lime for a fresh taste.
- Drink water before, during, and after a workout.
- When you think you’re hungry, you may just need to hydrate. True hunger won’t go away by drinking water, so this is a way to know what your body is really asking for.
- Set up a schedule for your water intake. For example, drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour or at scheduled meal times.
So in summer—and all year long—stay hydrated to stay healthy. It’s one of the easiest things you can do!
For more practical tips and perspectives on how to make your weight loss goal lasting and successful, click here to watch Eliot’s latest free webinar: Let’s Talk Sugar and Water: Get Health Wise with WW Coach Eliot!
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