Water is an important element in our lives. Without it, the body can’t function properly. When the weather gets warm, excessive loss of water can lead to dehydration.
What Is Dehydration?
Dehydration refers to loss of water that affects the body. In hot weather or at any time, the body uses just as much water as it takes in. That is why water intake is so critical to your daily diet.
How does the body lose water? Metabolic processes like cellular repair and cellular respiration require water. Each cell bathes in it. Excretion of bodily waste products through urination causes a loss of water as well. But, the quickest way that we lose water from the body is through perspiration or sweat.
When you are out in the hot weather, the body sweats to cool itself off. Water escapes the body through the skin. Here it evaporates cooling the tissues below. It may not feel like you are cooling off when water is dripping from your body, but have someone blow across your skin. Feel it now?
Most of the time when you are thirsty, you are already feeling the effects of dehydration. Some of the symptoms are:
* Dark urine
* Loss of appetite
* Heat intolerance
* Dry cough
Nutritionists recommend that we drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Some doctors have upped that limit to ten or more depending on your activity level and/or body weight.
The best way to deal with dehydration is to avoid it in the first place. With a few tips you can ensure that you are always adequately hydrated, whether out in the heat or inside out of the elements.
* Drink water throughout the day – Drinking a bolus of water during heavy activity doesn’t account for any deficiencies you already had during the day. Once you start to sweat you could create a deficit rather quickly. If you are trying to drink at least eight glasses a day, drink one glass about every two hours for even hydration.
* Wear loose-fitting clothing during physical activity – In the heat, dark clothing can attract more heat. Light, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics can minimize water loss through sweat. It can also pull moisture away from your body so you stay cooler.
* Avoid soft drinks and alcohol – These types of beverages only increase thirst. Instead of water loss being replaced with water, it is replaced with substances that the body needs to excrete. In fact, more water is pulled from your system to dilute them. They may taste good but they are not helping your body at that moment. Save the beer or cold soda for relaxation time later on.
Dehydration is a serious matter. Whether it is hot or you are exercising a lot, replace that lost water with more water on a consistent basis to stay healthy.