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Stormer Healthy Times

Regulating the bodies I’s and O’s-Water basics for summer hydration

By Salena Krueger, Times Staff Reporter
On July 3, 2013

Keys... check, phone...check, book bag...check and one last thing ........Yes!! A bottle of H2O. Has that list gone through your mind in the morning before class? Summertime is definitely here and maintaining a healthy hydration level is important for several reasons. Drinking the appropriate amount of water regulates the body temperature and also helps convert food into energy.
In addition, the human body can go six weeks without food but only one week without water. A scary but real statistic says 75 percent  of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Please keep reading because below is information on how, why and when to replenish the body during those sizzling summer days:
The amount of fluid you need depends upon a number of factors, including:
Age: Children need more fluids because they produce more urine. Older people may need more fluids because of specific health conditions or because they tend to lose their sense of thirst.
Gender: Men need more fluids than women. (And pregnant women need more fluids than other women.)
Weight: Heavy people need more water.
Health: Diseases such as diabetes, cystic fibrosis and kidney disease can increase your need for fluids.
Environment: You need more fluids in extreme weather conditions (especially hot, humid or cold) and at high altitudes.
An easy way to monitor your fluid levels is to check the color of your urine. The darker your urine, the less hydrated you are. Drink enough fluids to keep your urine a lighter color. If your urine is clear or pale, chances are you are well hydrated.
Moisture in food accounts for about 20percent of the average person's total daily water intake. For example an apple is 84 percent water. Bananas are 74 percent water. Broccoli is 91 percent water. Even foods that you might not think of as particularly moist - a plain bagel (33 percent water), ground beef (56 percent) - help your body meet its hydration needs.
It doesn't take long to get dehydrated - especially in hot, humid weather. The National Athletic Trainers' Association advised delaying or rescheduling vigorous outdoor exercise when it's too hot and humid. Alternatively, you should take longer breaks, reduce the duration and/or intensity level, and make sure you're wearing minimal clothing or exercise gear.
It's hard to believe, but before about 1969, athletes were advised to avoid drinking fluids during exercise for fear of gastrointestinal problems or impaired performance. Now we know better. On average you should take a rehydration break about every 20 minutes. Most people would stay adequately hydrated by drinking 5 to 10 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes, but your exact need depends on factors such as level of exertion, whether you are indoors or outdoors, your age, gender and weight.
Alcoholic beverages have the most dehydrating effect, but most other beverages contribute to your overall level of hydration. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages do have some diuretic effect, causing your kidneys to form urine. But they are generally hydrating because of their water content. Juices, sodas and other sugary beverages also are hydrating. Water is the better choice for hydration because it doesn't contain additional calories.
"Make sure to consume before, during, and after when working out. If you're thirsty you've waited too long," says Andrew Salm, Wellness Approach instructor. "Hot and humid weather increases risk of heat cramping and heat exhaustion."
Information retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/rm-quiz-know-about-hydration
I hope these recommendations help with maintaining an adequate fluid intake this summer and if a bottle of H2O has not been a part of your rundown list before class, it's never too late to add it.
 


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