It’s only May, but the summer heat waves have started early. Warmer-than-usual weather and record-setting heat has hit California. Texas. Central Florida. The High Plains. And overseas in Great Britain and Australia. If that’s any evidence, we may be in for a warmer-than-usual summer.
When the temperature rises, unfortunately, so too does the risk for developing dehydration. Essentially, the weather gets hotter causes your body temperature to rise, and to cool yourself, you sweat more. This loss of fluid through sweat, which happens faster if you haven’t had a chance to acclimate, can cause dehydration.
But dehydration isn’t the sole concern for those who work, play and exercise outdoors in hot weather. In fact, more serious conditions like heat illness and exhaustion can are exacerbated by the heat and dehydration. Not to mention, both of these conditions can lead to heat stroke, one of the most dangerous warm-weather-related illness.
Strategies to Prevent Dehydration in Hot Weather
Dehydration is a common cause of heat exhaustion, because when you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t sweat enough or fast enough to dissipate heat. Therefore, preventing dehydration is one of the most effective strategies to avoid heat exhaustion in the summer. Here are a few tips:
1. Acclimation: Early in the summer, or a week or more before doing intensive activity in the heat (say before the start of a sports season), it’s important to let your body acclimate to the heat. If possible, allow time to exercise outside for shortened periods, then increasing the length of time you spend outdoors leading to the start of the season, or before a long hike or whatever reason you’ll be outdoors.
For those who don’t have the luxury to properly acclimate -- say a mail carrier or construction worker -- the initial heat wave is likely to make you you a sweat more. Therefore, a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink like Drip Drop is recommended to help you replace fluids, electrolytes and retain water.
2. Proper Hydration: Drinking enough fluids is important to prevent dehydration, but what does that mean exactly? An effective strategy is to drink before, during and after exercising or working in the heat.
Your fluid requirements will depend on a variety of factors, but a standard hydration plan includes 15-20 fluid ounces of water 2-3 hours before exercise; 8-10 fluid oz. 20 minutes before; and up to 10 fluid oz. every 15 minutes during exercise. Following exercise or work outdoors, drinking 20-24 fluid ounces of fluids for every pound lost is essential for rehydration.
Plus, an electrolyte-carbohydrate drink like Drip Drop may be necessary during intense workouts that last longer than an hour or an hour and a half.
3. Avoid Hottest Parts of the Day: If possible, avoiding hot weather, of course, can be a big help. Or if you’re planning on being outdoors working or exercising, try to schedule around peak heat hours in the afternoon.
During the high-heat of summer, Drip Drop is the perfect addition to your water bottle. Extended periods in the heat, whether for work, play or exercise, require more than just water. The solution is simple -- drink Drip Drop.
Image via Flickr.