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How to Stay Hydrated in High Heat and Humidity

By Expert HERWriter
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Holistic Health related image Photo: Getty Images

In the last week, many cities in the United States have been experiencing extremely high temperatures which can be a cause for health concern for people due to dehydration.

It is normal for our bodies to lose water each day through breathing out water vapors, as well as water loss in sweat, urine and bowel movements. Water is replenished through drinking water and eating foods that contain water – especially fruits and vegetables.

As the temperature increases, the water loss from the body is accelerated and the risk for dehydration is increased. Dehydration results when fluids, mostly water, are released from the cells and move out of the body at a faster rate than they are taken in through drinking water. The best way to prevent dehydration related to high temperatures is through proper intake of water during extremely high temperatures.

Soft drinks, sodas in particular, are not an appropriate choice for fluid intake to prevent dehydration. I mention this because according to the USDA, in 2002, soft drink consumption had increased more than 50 percent in the last 50 years. With this attitude towards fluid consumption, it is sometimes difficult to get children and adults to drink more water.

When the temperatures and heat index is reaching over100 degrees for days on end it is especially important to drink water and other drinks that contain electroytes (Salts and minerals that can conduct electrical impulses in the body that are found in body fluids) – not sodas or other drinks. It is also important to realize that activities like extreme exercise, or prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause mild to severe cases of dehydration.

Symptoms of dehydration include extreme thirst, dry mouth, weakness, dizziness, mental confusion, sluggishness, inability to sweat, small amounts of urine that are very concentrated in color, and heart palpitations. The temperatures could cause dehydration to turn into heat related illness, including heat exhaustion or heat stroke. These symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, and frequent muscle cramps. Heat Stroke is a medical emergency and can cause seizures, difficulty breathing or even unconsciousness.

Staying properly hydrated when the temperatures and humidity is high can create a safe and healthy summer.


Reviewed July 22, 2011
by MIchele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Shannon Koehle

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Dae
Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.com
Dr. Dae's book: Daelicious! Recipes for Vibrant Living can be purchased @ www.healthydaes.com

Dr. Dae's Bio:

“Dr. Dae" (pronounced Dr. Day) Daemon Jones is a Naturopathic Physician who treats the whole person using safe and effective combinations of traditional and natural methods to produce optimal health and well-being in the lives of her patients.

Add a Comment5 Comments

Expert HERWriter

Thank you for sharing your experience!

August 16, 2011 - 2:20pm

My comment about dehydration is in general not heat related. I am a 62 year old woman and last winter while awaiting my scheduled major craniotomy, I became so anxious that I found it very difficult to eat. I was sure to drink normal amounts, but could only eat a little like applesause, yogurt, too little to be gearing up for such a major operation. A week before the operation I was rushed into the hospital becuase I was showing problematic signs for the condition I was being operation for (Dural AV Fistula) The Dr. read me the riot act and told me that I was about to face the life or death fight of my life and that If I didn't get prepared for it I would loose. I had become severely dehyrated and malnourished. I was kept over night on IV's, and lectured. I learned that one reason that drinking plenty of fluids is important (especially if you are ill, or it is hot) is because without adaquate fluids, the nutrients from the foods you eat will not be moved along to reach the appropriate parts of the body to nourish it, therefore contributing to my malnutrition. In my case he said it didn't matter what I ate it was the calories that were more important, but eating nutritionally of course would be a plus. The brain is almost all water and a dehydrated brain does not do well in surgery. Another tip he told me was that if you don't like water (I hate it!) if you can tolerate gaterade it is equaal to having 2 waters.
At first I did not like this young asian neuro seurgeon who was part of the team because of the way he spoke to me, but I ended up really liking him a lot and respecting him. I know now it was his way of making sure he got through to me and I credit him along with the rest of the team for saving my life.

August 3, 2011 - 5:49am
Expert HERWriter

Thank you for your comments.

August 2, 2011 - 12:51pm

Thank you for your article making us aware of how important it is to hydrate ourselves.

During the summer heat we tend to forget to hydrate, especially the elderly. As we age we lose our desire to drink so the summer is more challenging.

In addition to water, coconut water is the best way to hydrate. Straight from nature with the right balance nothing added and loaded with potassium. Sports drinks have sugar or worse High Fructose Corn Syrup, dyes and artifical flavors.

The one I always suggest to clients is Coco Hydro it is inexpensive, portable on trips and easy to use. 1 bag equals 25 servings for 10.00 making it affordable unlike many others on the market.

In Health

August 1, 2011 - 12:54pm
EmpowHER Guest

"...water and other drinks that contain electroyles..."
Maybe you need some for editorial prowess?

July 28, 2011 - 7:25pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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