The heat is on. It’s summertime! It has been extremely hot these past few weeks, but it is time to get outside to run, bike, swim and do anything else outdoors we can imagine. It is even a great time to sit in the sun and watch your favorite sporting event. What you may have noticed while you are doing all of these wonderful activities is how thirsty you have become. If you have become thirsty your body has already lost 1-2% of its fluids, about 1-2 liters of body water. Yikes! What are we going to do about this?
Given more than half of the human body is composed of water and this water provides an integral role in many bodily functions necessary to sustain life, the first thing we want to do this summer is pre-hydrate our bodies. We can do this by drinking 16-32 ounces of fluid before activity. Then we want to keep drinking fluids throughout our activity, about 16-20 ounces every 10-15 minutes. Finally we need to drink about 20 ounces of fluids for every pound of body weight lost during the activity.
Here are some signs of dehydration you may experience this summer:
• Loss of appetite
• Flushed skin
• Heat intolerance
• Dark colored urine
• Dry cough
• Muscle cramping
How do we know how much water we are losing with any given activity in the summer heat? If you weigh yourself before and after an activity this will give you a good estimate of how much fluid loss you experienced.
These weights must be taken without clothes on to be accurate. Keep in mind that over one percent loss in body weight indicates dehydration while over a five percent loss in weight indicates severe dehydration.
% Body Weight Change
Well Hydrated -1 to +1%
Minimal Dehydration -1 to -3%
Significant Dehydration -3 to -5%
Serious Dehydration >5%
Remember, dehydration can lead to some serious issues for the body including, heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Signs of these more advanced conditions include flushed skin, chills, tingling in extremities and the inability to sweat. Emergency medical attention should be given to those suffering from these symptoms.
Now be sure you are drinking the proper fluids this summer. Alcohol and carbonated beverages are fine in moderation but the body does not tolerate them well during summer activities in the heat and sun. It is best to hydrate with water and the occasional sports drink. Sports drinks are good for replacing chemicals such as sodium and potassium lost during activity as well as the fluids. During heavy exercise, alternate water with the sports drink for optimum hydration.
By taking these hydration steps hopefully your summer will be more enjoyable. Have a great summer!
Life Care Center of Ocala
Not all skilled nursing and rehab centers are the same, and that’s certainly true of the Life Care Center of Ocala. Along with state-of-the-art medical care, Life Care Center of Ocala offers homelike amenities with added luxuries, such as a beauty salon, ice cream parlor, restaurant style dining and 24-hour security all within a serene environment. Private rooms and suites are also available, as well as a number of indoor and outdoor areas for residents and patients to host family visits.
To find out more about Life Care of Ocala, or to book a personalized tour, please call (352) 873-7570, or visit their website at www.LifeCareCenterOfOcala.com to view their services and to peruse their newsletter to find out what other residents have to say about living at Life Care.
352.873.7570 | 2800 SW 41st St. | Ocala, FL 34474 | www.LifeCareCenterOfOcala.com