During these dogs days of summer, warm temperatures put demands on your fluid needs. Especially if you are exercising or playing in the heat, you can lose tremendous amounts of fluid as sweat that quickly evaporates from your skin, helping your body cool. Most adults lose anywhere from 1 to 2 quarts of sweat per hour of exercise outdoors, while children lose a quart or less an hour.
During these dogs days of summer, warm temperatures put demands on your fluid needs. Especially if your are exercising or playing in the heat, you can lose tremendous amounts of fluid as sweat that quickly evaporates from your skin, helping your body cool. Most adults lose anywhere from 1 to 2 quarts of sweat per hour of exercise outdoors, while children lose a quart or less an hour.
If fluids are not replaced both during activity and after, you can get into a dangerous situation of dehydration and heat illness. Watch for signs including dizziness, rapid heart beat, nausea and clammy skin. If this happens, cease activity, seek shade and drink ample amounts of cool fluids.
Cool tips for the family
For children …
- Encourage outdoor activities for cooler times in the morning.
- Provide ample fluids such as sports drink, plain water or flavored waters (flavored beverages encourage better hydration and the electrolytes in sports drinks also help maintain fluid balance in the body)
- Tell your child to drink three “gulps” of water at every 15 to 20 minutes break while active outdoors (one gulp = about one ounce)
- Know that children may not recognize symptoms of dehydration so be observant
For adults …
- Jog, cycle or walk during cool morning hours or later in the evening• Drink 2 to 4 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes of exercise
- Plain water is best during exercise lasting less than one hour; use sports drink for longer stretches of activity for the extra electrolytes and carbs
- As the summer goes on, you actually lose greater amounts of sweat as your body adapts to the warmer temps so be vigilant about staying hydrated
Simply a fancy name for minerals dissolved in water, electrolytes play a vital role in helping maintain proper fluid balance in the body.
Here’s what to know about electrolytes and staying hydrated:
- When you sweat, your body not only loses fluid but also the electrolyte sodium and small amounts of potassium.
- During workouts lasting an hour or so, electrolytes losses are not significant and can easily be replace with the sodium you get from foods.
- But working out for several hours may create a significant loss of sodium and result in severe medical problems.
- Electrolytes in sports drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade help replenish what is lost in sweat.
- Re-hydrating with sports drinks that contain electrolytes also helps boost the amount of fluid your body absorbs, which in turn helps prevent dehydration.