Here in North Carolina the summer is in full swing, although it sure isn’t as hot as it was when I was down in Houston, TX. Still, I see so many people out running that I wanted to write a bit about dehydration.
About 75-80% of your body weight is from water, so when you are in a situation where the fluid evaporating from your body surpasses the amount of water (not soda, coffee, tea, etc.) you’re taking into your body, you are in various stages of dehydration. I was told an easy way to check for dehydration. Look at your urine, the darker it is, the more dehydrated you are, and the more clear it becomes, it shows that your cells are better hydrated.
A Google search for the term dehydration brought up a LOT of great information, but the thing I wanted to bring to your attention was the symptoms of fluid loss. Again, Google is my source for this information:
Call 911 if you or your child have the following symptoms
Call your doctor right away if you or your child has any of the following symptoms:
* Not producing tears
* Sunken eyes
* Little or no urine output for 8 hours
* Dry skin that sags back into position slowly when pinched up into a fold
* Dry mouth or dry eyes
* Sunken soft-spot on the top of your infant’s head
* Fast-beating heart
* Blood in the stool or vomit
* Diarrhea or vomiting (in infants less than 2 months old)
* Listlessness and inactiveness
Also call your doctor if you are not sure whether your attempts to give your child proper fluids are working.
Also call your doctor if:
* An illness is combined with the inability to keep down any fluids
* Vomiting has been going on for longer than 24 hours in an adult or longer than 12 hours in a child
* Diarrhea has lasted longer than 5 days in an adult or child
* Your infant or child is much less active than usual or is irritable
* You or your child have excessive urination, especially if there is a family history of diabetes or you are taking diuretics
If you are exercising during the heat, not only are you losing precious water, but you are also losing nutrients that keep your body functioning properly. Drinking sugar-loaded sports drinks isn’t the way to go, it is vital to replace the nutrients with a properly balanced fluid replacement drink.
Remember to watch your athlete child too. This includes children who aren’t necessarily playing sports, but who are playing hard in the hot weather. Children will get thirsty and drink soda or other fluids that not only don’t help, but actually hurt in many ways. Be sure to give your child a drink that is nutritious and tastes so good that your child will look for more.
So, drink up, and go have a great time in the sun!
Wishing you well,