Wright: Summer hydration – What you should know

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In the midst of one of the hottest times of year, it’s important to remember to stay hydrated and take extra precautions in the summer heat. Summer is in full swing, and temperatures have reached the triple digits.

Are you staying hydrated?

Our bodies contain about two thirds water, and while we are out and moving during the heat of the day, we are losing those fluids. Dehydration occurs when we lose more fluids than we take in.

This can be even more serious for the very young and the very old; losing these large amounts of water is very dangerous to your health.

When the temperatures are extremely hot and humid, it feels much hotter to our body than what the air temperature reads.

The hotter it gets outside, the more difficult it is for our body to cool itself naturally.

Our body temperature rises when we lose too much fluid through sweating.

Dehydration has several levels of severity depending on how much fluid is lost, but none of those levels are a good thing.

A simple method to determine if you are hydrated is by looking at the color of your urine.

If your urine is a pale yellow, you are hydrated.

If it is a darker color, your body is in need of more fluids.

Having a darker color also means your kidneys are working too hard.

As an employee of a Dialysis company, I can tell you it is imperative to protect your kidneys as much as you can.

During extreme temperatures, try to limit your time outdoors to 15-minute intervals. Drink plenty of fluids, including sports drinks.

However, avoid alcohol and caffeine because both will increase the fluid loss in your body.

Periodically mist yourself to cool off, especially smaller children and older adults.

Mandatory workouts will be in full swing soon as middle school and high school fall sports will be kicking off.

Parents, make sure your children are supplied with plenty of water and fluids.

If you are just out and about, wear light-colored, loose, synthetic clothing. The easier it is for you to evaporate sweat, the more comfortable you will be.

Check out webMD.com for more detailed information on dehydration, along with symptoms and causes.

And remember to stay hydrated St. John!

Michael P. Wright is St. John Council chairman and District 5 representative. Contact him at District5@sjbparish.com.