Summer Hydration: Drink Up!
By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., ACCESS Media Relations Specialist
June 12, 2017
It’s always important to hydrate, but it’s even more necessary in the summer. “Heat and humidity increase the risk of dehydration,” explains Access Community Health Network Regional Medical Director Davida Gerena, M.D. “As a health care provider, I always encourage my patients to drink extra water in the summer. It is also important to be on the lookout for difficulty concentrating or signs of fatigue. These are major signs of dehydration.”
Symptoms of dehydration:
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Dark urine
- Dry skin
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
Dehydration risk factors:
- Age: young children and the elderly are at an increased risk of dehydration.
- Chronic illness: diabetes, kidney disease and heart failure increase the chances of dehydration.
- Common sickness: colds, sore throats and fevers can cause dehydration.
- Exercise: excessive sweating can cause the body to lose fluids quickly, resulting in dehydration.
Summer dehydration prevention tips:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially in intense heat and/or while exercising.
- Stop exercising if you begin to feel light-headed or dizzy.
- To promote fluid intake and make drinking water more interesting, add flavor to water by using fresh fruits, veggies or herbs, or frozen fruit instead of ice cubes for a nutritious frozen drink.
- Eat foods that are high in water, such as fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Avoid soda or soft drinks.
During the summer, dehydration can be very serious, even life-threatening. If you suspect that you or a loved one is severely dehydrated, call 911.