Keep Cool

stay­ing hy­drated in hot weather

Best Health - - RELATIONSHIPS - By Ni­cole Porter


Af­ter months of trudg­ing through win­ter snow and dodg­ing spring­time rain show­ers, it’s only nat­u­ral to wel­come the days of t-shirts, flip-flops and vi­ta­min D-rich sun­shine with open arms. But along with the brighter moods and fun out­door ac­tiv­i­ties, the hot, sum­mer sun can also bring vary­ing de­grees of de­hy­dra­tion, which oc­curs when the amount of wa­ter leav­ing the body ex­ceeds the amount taken in. An all-too-com­mon hazard of sum­mer, de­hy­dra­tion can re­sult from ex­cess heat ex­po­sure, in­ad­e­quate re­plen­ish­ment af­ter ex­er­cise, or a poor diet (par­tic­u­larly one high in al­co­hol, caf­feine or sugar). And the re­sult­ing vi­ta­min, min­eral and elec­trolyte de­fi­cien­cies can leave you with a host of prob­lems rang­ing from headaches, cramps, and low blood pressure to more se­ri­ous is­sues like kid­ney fail­ure, seizures or life-threat­en­ing heat­stroke. Ev­ery bit as es­sen­tial to life as the air we breathe, all 37.2 tril­lion of your cells re­quire wa­ter to func­tion. On the flip­side, if you’re de­hy­drated, ev­ery cell will suf­fer. Your body in­ter­prets this suf­fer­ing as a form of stress, re­sult­ing in an over­stim­u­lated ner­vous sys­tem and a cas­cade of hor­mones flood­ing your sys­tem, con­tribut­ing to im­bal­ances from head to toe. Be sure to con­sume eight 8-ounce glasses each day at a min­i­mum, re-hy­drat­ing with an ad­di­tional glass for ev­ery 15-30 min­utes of ex­er­cise, de­pend­ing on in­ten­sity and heat.


How can you tell if you’re de­hy­drated? For starters, you’ll be thirsty. In fact, thirst is a sign that you’re al­ready de­hy­drated, so drink enough wa­ter to avoid be­com­ing thirsty in the first place. Other signs and symp­toms in­clude dry mouth or eyes, weak­ness, light­head­ed­ness, nau­sea, and dark, con­cen­trated urine. Fa­tigue, con­sti­pa­tion, and dry skin are also signs of chronic de­hy­dra­tion that are all too com­mon, re­gard­less of the sea­son. Be­sides in­creas­ing your wa­ter con­sump­tion, con­sider th­ese ad­di­tional sug­ges­tions to avoid de­hy­dra­tion this sum­mer: 1. Eat your wa­ter. This means con­sum­ing plenty of veg­eta­bles and fruit nat­u­rally high in wa­ter con­tent, such as pep­pers, cu­cum­bers, wa­ter­melon, straw­ber­ries, broc­coli and can­taloupe. For­tu­nately, th­ese are also pop­u­lar food choices among chil­dren who, along with the el­derly, are par­tic­u­larly sus­cep­ti­ble to de­hy­dra­tion. 2. Sup­ple­ment. Al­though sup­ple­men­ta­tion is not a sub­sti­tute for a healthy, bal­anced diet, the reality is that poor nu­tri­tion and chronic stress de­plete our bod­ies of the nu­tri­ents nec­es­sary to sus­tain op­ti­mal health. To re­plen­ish elec­trolytes and get a boost of vi­ta­mins and min­er­als, try Ester-C® En­ergy Boost. Pack­ing a flavour­ful punch in easy to carry, single-size pack­ets, they’re per­fect to bring to work, the gym, the beach, or any­where else. 3. Avoid food and drinks that are de­hy­drat­ing. Caf­feinated sports drinks and al­co­hol, both typ­i­cally high in sugar, are com­mon sum­mer cul­prits. As di­uret­ics, they also in­crease uri­na­tion, fur­ther con­tribut­ing to de­hy­dra­tion in those al­ready over­heated from ex­er­cise or warm weather. If you must con­sume th­ese bev­er­ages, add 1 glass of wa­ter for ev­ery serv­ing of caf­feine, wine, beer and al­co­hol.

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