Heat Heat
Jul 08 2016

Heat & Hydration...What You Need to Know Featured

With the first day of summer officially arriving, the famous heat and humidity of Arkansas’ summer is here. Many people work and play in the heat during the summer, here are some ways to do so safely and more comfortably!

Know Your Body!!

One of the easiest ways to quickly judge your level of hydration is by examining your urine color. Anything darker than a light lemonade color indicates you are in need of water.

When you are at rest you can rely on your body’s natural thirst response to let you know that you need to drink more fluids. If you feel thirsty, you have lost 1-2% of your body weight in fluids. 3% or more and you need to increase your hydration to safely enjoy outdoor activities. However, when you are active, your thirst response is delayed and is NOT a good indication of hydration level.

The best way to prevent dehydration is to learn how quickly you lose water weight while exercising. You can easily do this by weighing yourself before you go mow the grass (or other moderate activity) and then weigh yourself when you come back inside (be sure to change out of wet clothes first). This will give you a good idea of your sweat rate!

If you are performing high levels of activity you should replace up to 150% of you lost weight within 2 hours.

See Korey Stringer Institute for videos and more information on knowing your body!!

Always Have Fluids Available

When you are out in the heat, you should have plenty of fluids available to keep yourself hydrated!

There are many options for fluids:

Water:  Water is an obvious choice and a good one, but it does have some disadvantages. When you sweat, you lose more than just fluids. If you are sweating heavily and for a long time, replacing only water will not adequately resupply your body.  Also, because water lacks flavor people often don’t drink enough to replace what they have lost.

Sports Drinks:  Sports drinks are a good choice, in that they contain fluids and electrolytes lost while exercising.  They also are flavored, which increases the amount people will drink. But, be careful of high sugar content.

Enhanced Waters:  Water that has been supplemented with flavorings, vitamins, or electrolytes. These options are beneficial because they have the fluids that will help with dehydration and the flavoring to make them palatable, but lack the high sugar content of some sports drinks.

As you exercise and play in the heat this summer give your body several days to get acclimated before intense activity, take frequent breaks, get to know your body, and always have fluids available.