Summer Time Health Tips
Water is critical for our survival. In fact, after oxygen, it is the second most necessary life-sustaining factor. Under normal circumstances, people can live for weeks without food, but we can only survive without water for a few days. The human body requires adequate water to maintain its function.
Water is vital in transporting nutrients and eliminating waste, lubricating joints, regulating temperature and facilitating digestion. Water helps form the fluid in our joints, the mucous in our lungs, and many other bodily fluids. In addition, it is necessary when we exercise or are exposed to high temperatures—the evaporation of sweat helps cool us. The human body strives to maintain balance between the amounts of water that we lose vs. what we take in. When you are thirsty, drink water to restore the balance.
It is important to drink water all year but during the hot weather months it’s even more so. Stay healthy this summer with a few tips on HYDRATION.
First, What is Dehydration?
When we lose excessive amounts of water, or water and electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, we get dehydrated. We feel the effects of dehydration in many ways, including weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, and fluid accumulation in the abdomen and/or the lungs. In a situation with increased water loss, such as physical exertion, dehydration can happen much quicker. In fact, dehydration can affect an athlete after less than 1 hour of exercise.
Signs of Dehydration
• Decreased performance
• Heart palpitations
Some other general information:
• In more physically active individuals, the amount of water intake necessary to maintain proper hydration varies between 2 to 16 liters per day, depending on the activity and the individual. Physically active individuals are not necessarily athletes. Farm workers, heavy laborers, and the like naturally have higher needs for water.
• If you are planning a strenuous physical activity, drink approximately 2 to 3 cups of cold water 2 hours before activity. Drink 1 cup approximately 10-15 minutes before the activity or during your warm-up. During the activity, drink 3 to 4 cups of water every hour of activity, or 1 cup every 15 to 20 minutes. After the activity, you should rapidly replace the fluids that you lost within 2 hours. You should drink approximately 16-24 ounces of water for every pound lost during the activity.
• Cool beverages of 50-60 degrees are the best forms of fluid for the body. If an activity lasts longer than 1 hour, a sports drink is often recommended.
• Fluids with salt (e.g., sodium, potassium) are beneficial because they increase thirst. The salt also helps replace what’s lost through sweat. If you choose a sports drink, it should contain no more than 7% of carbohydrates per serving.
Sports Drinks: The flavors make you want to drink more, electrolytes trigger your thirst mechanism and the carbohydrates boost energy. Use the right type of drink for the right sport. The more sugar the slower your body will re-hydrate
• Avoid fruit juices, carbohydrate gels, sodas, alcohol, and high-sugar sports drinks. These may dehydrate the body further by stimulating excessive urine production and/or decreasing your overall beneficial fluid intake.
Enjoy your summer and if you ever have questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to give us a call (314) 439-5548. Dr. Gina, Dr. Tushaus and MollieShea are here to help you stay healthy.
Yours in Good Health,
Chiropractic Care & Sports Rehab, Inc.