How to Stay Safely Hydrated this Summer
You’ve probably noticed - Florida summers are hot. The higher the temperature, the higher the risk of dehydrating. Factors that determine how much fluid you need each day include age, climate, activity level, and overall health. Every day you lose water through breathing, exhaling, perspiration, and using the bathroom. Your body needs you to replenish its water supply by consuming food and drinks that contain water in order to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Symptoms of dehydration
- Excessive thirst
- Dark or little or no urine
- Muscle weakness
- Dry mouth
How to stay hydrated
The key to staying hydrated is drinking before you get thirsty. Milk — including white or chocolate milk — can help you stay hydrated. Milk contains the right mix of nutrients and water needed for post-exercise recovery and hydration which include:
- B vitamins (Riboflavin, B-12, pantothenic acid and niacin) for energy
- Bone-building nutrients, including calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus
- Vitamin A for a healthy immune system
Milk is also composed of electrolytes like calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium that will help you replenish what’s lost in sweat as well as fluids that will help you rehydrate. Research shows milk’s natural electrolyte content and being 90% water could restore and maintain hydration after exercise better than other post-exercise beverages like sports drinks and water.
Foods can also provide fluids for hydration
- Many fruits and vegetables are high in water content like watermelon and spinach
- Ice cream and other frozen treats can help you stay hydrated
- Smoothies and milkshakes are excellent sources of hydration
Factors that influence fluid needs
You may have to adjust how much fluid you need to stay hydrated. Factors to consider are:
- Activities that result in a lot of sweating
- Hot or humid weather
- High altitudes
- Illnesses that cause fever, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Age related physical changes
- Medication side effects
Hydration and exercise
Choosing the right post-exercise drink can impact your performance during your workout, which is why an increasing number of athletes use chocolate milk for exercise recovery. Read the science about lowfat chocolate milk for recovery here.
Kids and hydration
Kids are more likely than adults to become dehydrated. Watch the video linked here to learn more.