During these long, hot summer days, dehydration can strike anyone, anytime, whether you’re exercising or just hanging out.
The problem is that most people don’t know when they are dehydrated. Does it mean you just feel sluggish or that you’re passed-out? In reality, it could be anywhere along the spectrum.
To know whether you’re dehydrated, you must know the warning signs. When you hit the bathroom after some fun in the sun, check the color of your urine. (Honestly! It can save you a hospital visit.) You’re looking for clear, odorless liquid. If you have dark urination, you need to hydrate – quickly.
Another warning sign is a lack of perspiration. Your body perspires to keep cool, so when you stop sweating, it’s actually your body moving into a dehydrated state.
If you experience these symptoms, stop what you’re doing, get to a cool, shady location and drink plenty of fluids. If your symptoms don’t reverse, seek medical attention.
There are ways to avoid dehydration by keeping hydrated in the first place:
• When sweating, not only do you lose the water in your body, you also lose electrolytes. They can be replaced by drinking sports drinks like Gatorade before, during and after outdoor activity.
• Some summer foods are made up almost entirely of water. When you eat watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew, you get all the fluid benefits with added flavor and fiber. Other water-containing foods include celery, tomatoes and grapes.
• Exercise early in the day. On extremely hot days, I often see people out on the running trail before the sun rises. That’s smart. You don’t have to be a genius to know that it’s cooler and less intense if the sun isn’t beating down your neck. By getting out early, you beat the heat.
• Opt for a water workout in the pool. You’ll feel heat relief and get your workout in at the same time.
For this week’s easy fit mini recipe, try this dehydration-busting fruit salad: Take a cup of red seedless grapes, a pint each of blueberries and strawberries, three sliced kiwis and two cups of fresh pineapple cut into bite-size pieces. Mix in a large bowl with a cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt, a half cup of lemon juice and a teaspoon of cinnamon.