As the temperature increases, so does your risk of getting dehydrated. Anyone of any age can get dehydrated. Learn what to watch for and how to treat dehydration.
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Dehydration happens when your body isn’t getting enough fluids. You can usually tell when you’re dehydrated, but common symptoms of dehydration include:
- Decrease in energy.
- Longer post-workout recovery.
- Upset or burning stomach.
One of the most accurate signs is both color and volume of your urine. If you void a normal amount of urine and it is clear or very light-colored, your body is well-hydrated. However, if you only produce a small amount of urine and it is dark yellow or even brown, those are signs of dehydration.
Hydration is important over any period of time – days, weeks, or even months. It’s not really possible to “catch up” if you go a while without drinking enough fluids. To keep your tank full, sports medicine specialists recommend that men consume 100 ounces of water daily, and women consume 70 ounces.
So, each day you go without drinking enough fluids, your supply goes down until you risk getting heat exhaustion or severe muscle cramps. Remember, these guidelines are based on normal activity levels, and you should increase your fluid intake with more physical exertion.
Fill ‘Er Up: How to Stay Hydrated
Here are a few tricks to keep your tank full:
- Schedule it! Have a glass of water first thing in the morning and one hour before you go to bed.
- Include a healthy-sized drink with every meal.
- Avoid sugary drinks, soda, or alcohol.
- More is not always better! Too much water can leave you feeling bloated.
- Get most of your fluids from drinking. However, try fruits and veggies that are high in water content, including pineapple, watermelon, blueberries, pears, grapefruit, cucumber, lettuce, celery, and tomatoes.
The Relationship Between Sweat and Dehydration
How you sweat also plays an important role in staying hydrated. To find out how much water you must replace after sweating, try this easy calculation:
- Weigh yourself before and after a moderate workout, wearing the same clothing.
- In ounces, determine the difference between pre- and post-workout weight. 1 pound = 16 ounces.
- Add this number to how much fluid you drank during your workout.
- Divide this by the length of your workout (number of hours).
- The resulting number is your hourly sweat rate.
Now you know how much you need to drink every hour to replace your lost sweat!
For more information or to learn more from our sports performance and nutrition experts, visit the UPMC Sports Medicine website.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .
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