‘Staying hydrated is important this summer’
Terry Vine, deputy chief nurse at NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, talks about the importance of staying hydrated in the hot summer weather…
As temperatures rise and the sun beats down, hydration and fluids intake become more essential than before.
Dehydration means your body loses more fluids than you take in. If it isn’t treated it can get worse and become a serious problem.
It can happen more easily if you have diabetes, vomiting or diarrhoea or been in the sun too long.
Obviously fluid loss increases in hot weather. Drinking too much alcohol or sweating lots after exercise can also lead to dehydration.
That is why keeping hydrated is important.
It is recommended that six to eight glasses of water are consumed every day to replace normal water loss.
Symptoms of dehydration include always feeling thirsty, dark yellow and strong smelling urine, feeling dizzy, tiredness and having a dry mouth, lips and eyes.
You should drink plenty of fluids – especially water – when you feel any dehydration symptoms. Keep taking small sips and gradually drink more if you can.
Unfortunately if you are feeling thirsty, then you are already starting to become dehydrated. It is important to keep drinking throughout the day.
Obviously, water is the healthy and cheap choice for quenching your thirst at any time and keeping you hydrated.
Low calorie drinks
It also has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth.
Low calorie fizzy drinks can be a nice tasty alternative to water, but they can still decay teeth due to the high acid content due to the additional carbon dioxide that creates the fizz.
As temperatures rise and the sun gets stronger, many of us sweat that little bit more.
We are more at risk of dehydration at this time of year as we sweat more in hot weather.
It is also important to recognise that we get a large percentage of our daily fluid intake through the food we eat.
People who are intermittent fasting or trying to cut down on the food they eat, may become dehydrated and need to think about drinking additional fluids.
Often we feel less hungry in the hot weather so may naturally consume less food, but foods that are healthy and naturally high in fluid such as fruit and salad vegetables will help us keep hydrated.
Of course, drinking plenty of fluids and water is also key to a balanced diet which has many other health benefits too.
If you are suffering from dehydration, visit your pharmacist as they can recommend any potential treatments you may need.
This may simply be replacing any electrolytes that have been lost through excessive water loss and is the reason why people engaging in sports use drinks with added electrolytes.