Sheryl Lozicki is a Registered Dietitian at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and the Director of Nutrition and Wellness. Today’s “In Your Cart” segment reviews symptoms of dehydration and how to avoid them as the temperature starts to rise.
A healthy body is about two-thirds fluid. For example our blood is 90 percent fluid, muscle 75 percent and even fat is 10 percent fluid. Water is a part of every living cell. Clinical dehydration is defined as when our body loses 2% of its total body fluid. When this happens our heart has to work harder to pump blood that has thickened, our muscles don’t work as efficiently, we have trouble concentrating, our eyes itch, our mouth is dry, our stomach is nauseous, our head is throbbing and we may feel dizzy, tired and irritable.
Top 5 Tips to Prevent Dehydration
- Drink before you are thirsty. Thirst is a poor indicator of when you should drink especially in the very young and older adult. Many people also mistake hunger for thirst and eat instead of hydrating.
- Check your sweat rate. Sweating is a good sign that you are staying on top of your hydration needs. If you are in the habit of exercising for long periods of time in the summer, weigh yourself before and after. If you maintain within 1 percent of your pre exercise body weight, you are doing a good job of staying on top of your hydration needs. For every one-pound of weight loss, consume 2 cups of water to rehydrate.
- Check the color of your urine. It should be pale yellow. Urine that is dark yellow or even orange and small in quantity is a symptom that you are dehydrated.
- Choose healthy, fluid rich snacks such as popsicles, smoothies, low-fat yogurt, melon, grapes, berries, oranges, apples, cucumber, tomatoes, celery and lettuce.
- Water is your beverage of choice so sport a water bottle on your bike, when you go to the beach park, garden or golf. Gatorade is only recommended in sports lasting more than 1 hour or during periods of high heat or high humidity. Beware energy drinks are very different from sports drinks. They are often rich in sugar and caffeine and can be very dehydrating.
Rather than buying the commercial sports drinks that range from 50-70 calories per 1 cup serving with 110 milligrams of sodium, try this homemade version from Sports Dietitian Nancy Clark for the same nutrition.
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
¼ cup hot water
¼ cup orange juice (not concentrate)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 ½ cups cold water
- Mix the first 3 ingredients together in a pitcher.
- Add the remaining ingredients and chill.
Have your kids experiment with the juice combinations to create new flavors.
For more information check out this post from Runner’s World