Hydration key to health as summer temperatures rise

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Our bodies are almost 70% water, our muscles are up to 75% water, our hearts are up to 80% water - and our brains are up to 85% water!

All the most important body parts need water to stay hydrated all year round. During warm summer months, it is easy to get dehydrated. Losing as little as 1% of your body's water can impair muscle function and cognition.

Seniors and children are more at risk of dehydration, especially in hot summer weather in the Lowcountry. When outside during the hot summer months and you begin to feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

That's why it is so important to stay vigilant and ensure you are drinking enough all day, every day. Dehydration is progressive so it can sneak up on you easily.

Over days or weeks of slight fluid deficits, dehydration can hit your body very hard.

Signs that you might be already dehydrated include feeling thirsty, dizziness, light-headedness, nausea, headache, dark yellow urine, dry lips, dry tongue or dry throat.

Mild dehydration can be treated by drinking more water right away. But serious dehydration might require immediate medical attention. So, during the dog days of summer, stay vigilant and drink plenty of fluids.

Water is the best choice to maintain hydration. Be sure to be drink before, during and after activity. Even when you aren't thirsty, keep drinking water.

Avoid soda, fruit juices, flavored waters, and any drinks that contain high concentrations of sugar.

Clean, healthy, filtered water is the best water to stay hydrated. Faucet mount filters and pitcher-filtered water are a much better option than chlorinated tap water, but Reverse Osmosis Water is the best filtered water you can put in your body to stay hydrated.

For more information on how you can safeguard your home's water supply, visit the Water Quality Association at wqa.org, or call a local water treatment professional.

Chris Lane is the owner of Culligan Water Conditioning of the Low Country, serving Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties. culliganhhi.com

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