Dehydration is a serious concern and we’re particularly vulnerable during outdoor activities especially during hot summer months.
Vigorous activity, excessive sun exposure, and forgotten water breaks are a few factors that will affect your hydration level.
Have you ever had a dehydration headache? (It’s one common symptom).
A dehydration headache may occur after sweating when the body loses essential fluids to function properly. … When the body is dehydrated, the brain can temporarily contract or shrink from fluid loss. This mechanism causes the brain to pull away from the skull, causing pain and resulting in a dehydration headache.
Some of the symptoms of being dehydrated include thirst (but not always!), dry sticky mouth, darker urine, loss of energy and motivation, tired, fatigued, headache, head rushes, cramps, light headed, skin flushing.
Just a few percent drop in hydration will make your short-term memory fuzzy.
I’ve read that up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and they don’t even realize it. In extreme cases, dehydration can lead to delirium and even death!
The Best Way To Know If You’re Dehydrated
If you‘re losing more fluids than you‘re taking in, dehydration is the result. Period.
Clear and Copious.
– One‘s urine should NOT have a strong color.
– Urination should be fairly frequent.
If your urine is not clear like gin to pale yellow, you are dehydrated.
Dark yellow indicates serious dehydration.
Check color chart cross-reference from ClevelandClinic.org:
Drink Fluids Early And Often
It takes time for the body to absorb fluids, so you must drink early and often. Saving your water for later can result in dehydration.
Thirst is not necessarily an indicator of dehydration. The body‘s thirst signal starts when you are already 2 to 5 percent dehydrated! Older people tend to have a diminished sense of thirst, so be particularly aware.
What To Drink, And How Much?
Someone exercising hard may lose more than a quart of water an hour!
The basic rule for avoiding dehydration is to drink plenty of fluids, but this doesn’t mean just any fluid.
Note: Diuretics such as caffeine or alcohol will not re-hydrate you as well as water. Also the body does not absorb highly sugared or carbonated beverages as rapidly, which means that soft drinks are less efficient at quenching thirst than plain water.
The best way to keep hydrated or to re-hydrate is to drink plain water.
How much? Simply monitor your urine color. When it’s back to pale or clear, you’re hydrated. Simple as that.
Tip: I work outside a lot, and during the summer months I dehydrate rather quickly. For a number of years I have been using an electrolyte replacement (a powder) which I stir in with my water for rapid hydration. It has made a very clear difference (I can feel the energy coming back) when I’ve allowed myself to become overly dehydrated.
Homemade DIY Mix To Rehydrate
1 Cup Water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons sugar