Summer is coming up. That means temperatures will be warmer and you’ll want to spend more time outdoors. With COVID-19 coming under control, that looks more of a possibility. That being said, you’ll need to take certain precautions during the summer. One of those precautions is staying hydrated. It’s no secret that heat will dry you out. Spending too long in the hot sun can be dangerous. If you aren’t careful, you could end up in the emergency clinic for a heat stroke. Don’t let it come down to this. You can stay hydrated to save your life. Here is how.
Drink Plenty of Water
This is an obvious solution. You need to drink water to stay hydrated. For those living in the U.S., clean water is often plentiful. Just go to the sink and fill up a glass of water. What if you are outside on a run or working in the garden? Carry around a bottle of water with you. It would be a good idea to take a bottle or two of water with you when you’re on-the-g, as well. While it’s possible to drink too much water, most of us could stand to increase our H2O intake — especially when we’re more likely to sweat in the hot sun.
Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, and Sweet Drinks
Here’s something you might not know: not all drinks work for hydration. Alcohol and sugary drinks will dry you out. Alcohol can actually work as a diuretic and can dehydrate the body by making it more difficult to absorb water. Caffeine can also dehydrate you and sugary drinks will often do the same thing. If you want a little kick to your water, go for the flavored packets or freshly squeezed citrus instead.
Watch the Signs
Knowing is half the battle. You have to know the signs of dehydration and how to deal with them. The general rule is that if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. But you’ll also need to recognize when that dehydration is approaching dangerous levels. Is your skin feeling dry, inflamed, itchy, or irritated? Do you feel tired? Are you feeling a headache coming on? Or do you feel dizzy? How heavy is your breathing? Do you feel like you are going to faint? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you should seek out help immediately. For extreme cases, get yourself to an emergency clinic. When patients chose urgent care over other medical facilities, 22% said their decision was based on the assumption that their wait times would be shorter, while 21% felt the urgent care location was more convenient than other options. Dehydration can often be addressed by an emergency clinic or urgent care center, but it’s important not to delay treatment.
Heatstroke and dehydration must be taken seriously. If you are not careful, they can lead to your death. Watch out for the signs, drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol, caffeine, sugary drinks. If possible, just stay indoors with cool air. Just do anything in your power to stay hydrated. And if you do find you need medical care, head to your local walk-in clinic for assistance.