Avoid Dehydration for Optimum Health!

October 19th, 2013 | By Marjie No Comments

Fam-Nutrition-3.4

Information provided by:
Brian Evans, MBA,
Director of Corporate Health Services, St. Mary’s/UGA Athletics Liaison, St. Mary’s Health Care System, Inc.
Kim Hunter, RD, LD,
Clinical Nutrition Manager, St. Mary’s Health Care System
Sandy Broyles, RN,
Community Educator, Department of System Relations,
Athens Regional Health System

Dehydration = the body loses too much water.
Heat stroke = the body can no longer regulate heat by cooling itself.

Here are tips to avoiding dehydration:

  • Eat small, healthy meals before exercising.
  • Drink plenty of water and an occasional sports drink to maintain electrolytes.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine!  Both can actually increase water loss and make dehydration even more severe!
  • Drink water when exercising less than 90 minutes.
  • Drink a sport beverage (if available) when exercising for more than 90 minutes.
  • As a general rule, drink 8-10 oz. of water for every 10-15 minutes of activity.

Here are tips to avoiding heat stroke:

  • Wear loose fitting, light weight and light colored clothing.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Avoid exercising/working outdoors from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
  • Allow time for your body to gradually adjust to the environment.
  • Pay attention!  Your body will give you signs when you are getting too hot!

Here are tips to recognizing symptoms of dehydration /
heat stroke:

  • Extreme thirst.
  • Less frequent (and often darker) urine.
  • Dry mouth or cracked lips.
  • Feeling of being very tired, confused, dizzy, and light-headed.

Here are tips to responding to dehydration / heat stroke:

  • Move the person to a shady or cooler location.
  • Give sips of cool water or sports drinks.
  • Apply cool packs to neck, arms, and forehead.
  • Call 9-1-1 if the person seems confused or light-headed.

When it comes to dehydration, prevention is the key!  Avoid heavy work/exercise in high heat, humidity, or sunshine.  If you follow tips 1 and 2 above, you won’t have to worry about tips 3 and 4.

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