It’s very easy to get dehydrated in hot weather, especially if you are doing something physical.
Here are some tips to stay hydrated:
1. Drink plenty of water. Sounds pretty obvious, huh? The emphasis is on the word water. Try not to take in too many drinks that contain caffeine, as caffeine acts like a diuretic. Pure water is your best bet. Also try to avoid juices and other calorific fluid sources, as it’s easy to over-consume calories.
2. When you sweat you also lose salts which help you to retain water in your body’s fluid compartments, so don’t be afraid to put a little salt on your food and get plenty of varied nutritious food. If you have high blood pressure, then follow the guidelines provided by your doctor. Ever heard of marathon runners collapsing after ‘drinking too much water’? This is hyponatremia – low salt. If you sweat out lots of water and salts and replace it just with water, then you’ll end up with a dangerous low salt status. You’re unlikely to ever encounter this situation in everyday life, but it’s still not a bad idea to put a little salt on your food if you’ve been sweating a lot.
3. Get some carbs. Carbohydrate also helps you store water, this time in your liver and muscles.
4. Eat something fibrous. Fibre will hold on to water in your gut which the body can draw upon if you lose fluid elsewhere.
The body loves homeostasis. That means it tries to keep everything at constant levels, including water status. So if you do get dehydrated, the body compensates by releasing hormones that hold on to water. That helps, but there’s a limit to how much that mechanism can stave off dehydration, so it’s important to drink water.