Hydration in the Heat

Drop of water falling into bigger puddle of water

Summer in central Ohio can be a scorcher and according to recent reports, fall may be warm as well. While we can’t control Mother Nature, we can control how we take care of our bodies, especially in extreme temperatures.

Seniors, more than any other age group, are more likely to experience dehydration and all of the side affects that go along with it, including heat cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke. So how can we stay ahead of the problem and avoid dehydration? Here are a few of our favorite tips.

1. Limit your intake of dehydrating substances. If you’re a caffeine addict, you may not like this piece of advice. But coffee and alcohol are diuretics, which means they are more likely to flush out much-needed water from the body, thus causing mild dehydration. This doesn’t mean you have to give up coffee and alcohol in the summer months, just be mindful of how much you’re consuming.

2. Wear sunscreen and weather-appropriate clothing. Natural fabrics, such as cotton, tend to be cooler than synthetic fibers. Make sure to have a summer wardrobe stocked with light-colored and loose-fitting clothes to help you stay cool. Sunscreen is important for everyone, young and old! Even if it’s a cloudy day, the rays from the sun can still do damage.

3. Make sure you drink enough water. This sounds simple enough, but a surprising amount of people do not drink enough water in a day. You should drink before you’re thirsty to avoid dehydration. Experts recommend drinking 8 full glasses of water each day.

4. Drink before eating. Sometimes our brains confuse thirst with hunger, so a good rule of thumb is to try drinking water before reaching for that afternoon snack. If you do want to snack, try eating fruits and vegetables full of water, including cucumbers, celery, strawberries and grapefruit.

These are just a few of our favorite tips for staying hydrated and fighting the summer heat. What are your favorite ways to stay cool? Let us know in the comments below!

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