With the weather heating up it is important that we make certain considerations when it comes to hydration. When the temperature rises, the body will attempt to cool itself down by sweating. However, this can lead to dehydration. Along with water loss, there will also be a loss of salts (electrolytes) which are essential for our health and play vital roles in the body, such as supporting nerve and muscle function.
While exercise can contribute to fluid loss, even basic tasks such as shopping or gardening, during the summer months, can lead to dehydration. If exercising, sip on sports drinks which will help to rehydrate as well as replace electrolytes lost. However, do remember that while hydrating, sports drinks are still high in sugar and therefore should be limited if there is little exercise taking place. Also, remember to watch alcohol and caffeine intake as these are both dehydrating.
Don’t forget we also lose water when we sweat and urinate – so even on a chilly day it is important that we consume adequate amounts of water. Signs of dehydration can include; headaches, dark-coloured urine, reduced energy and constipation.
The Department of Health recommends that we drink about 1.2 litres of fluid every day. The healthiest way to reach this target is with water. However, other options such as milk, fruit juices, smoothies, squashes and herbal teas are a few great other options to help contribute to these daily guidelines.