By T. Foster Jones
SUMMERTIME SEEMS to encourage people of all ages to explore the
outdoors and enjoy new activities:
playing, gardening, sports, travel and
Just remember that there are heat-related
health risks associated with the fun-in-the-sun
warmer weather. Staying hydrated is an essential
step in keeping those risks at bay.
When you are active, your body loses water
through sweat, which helps keep your body cool. In
the summertime it is especially vital to regularly
drink water while outdoors in order to ensure you
are maintaining proper fluid balance in your body.
The Mayo Clinic notes that infants and children are
more susceptible to dehydration than adults. The
elderly and people suffering from illness are at
equally high risk.
Insufficient hydration fatigues muscles,
reduces coordination and causes muscle
cramps. Dehydration compromises the
body’s ability to cool itself through sweating, which can lead to heat exhaustion and,
in extreme cases, a potentially life-threat-ening condition called heatstroke.
The American College of Sports
Medicine (ACSM) notes that you can
assess your level of hydration by examining urine output and color. It should be
frequent and pale yellow. Infrequent urination and dark yellow urine indicates dehydration. Other symptoms can include dry
mouth, headache, dizziness, sunken eyes,
lethargy, increased heart rate and irritability.
Drinking water helps to restore any
water or sodium loss that occurs, and
also helps to regulate body temperature—especially helpful during warm
weather. And, as you age, your body
is less able to regulate temperature,
making drinking water that much
Staying hydrated has several other
benefits, including better skin tone and
keeping your body’s cells and tissues and
organs flushed clean.
It can also assist in weight loss by making
you feel more satiated and full. According to a
study by researchers from Virginia Tech,
drinking 16 ounces of water before meals three
times a day over a 12-week period increased
average weight loss by about 5 pounds, compared
with those who did not increase water intake.
Sufficient hydration is important to a healthy
pregnancy. Staying properly hydrated assists with
the liver and kidney function for the
mother and the fetus. Additionally,
How much water you drink often is
dependent upon how long and how strenuous
your activity is. The ACSM points out that you
need to drink water before, during and after any
activity to maintain a level of healthy hydration.
If you exercise strenuously, such as running or
cycling, you should average 1 cup of water every
15 minutes of exercise. If you are engaged in a more
moderate activity, such as yardwork, ½ cup every
15 minutes should be sufficient.
Another measure is to weigh yourself prior to
exercising, then weigh yourself post-exercise.
According to AARP, you should drink 2½ cups for
every pound lost during exercise.
Investing in a water bottle with
measurement markings can
help you ensure that you’re
drinking enough. C
Through Costco Services,
Costco members can order
bottled-water delivery service,
which offers purified or spring
bottled water and water dispensers for the home or office.
For delivery options, pricing and
other information, go to Costco.
com and click “Services,” then
“Water Delivery,” or call 1-888-
432-4823. Costco members will
also find water dispensers at
most Costco locations and on
Staying hydrated in the summer
Drinking it all in
✿ Don’t overexert yourself
in extreme heat, if you aren’t
accustomed to it.
✿ Drink plenty of water daily,
and don’t wait until you are
thirsty. Thirst is not a sign that
you are becoming dehydrated.
✿ Keep your body cool by
choosing light, loose-fitting
clothing made from absorbent
✿ If you are exercising or
playing outdoors, take regular
breaks and drink a sports beverage; it contains electrolytes,
which are lost when you
perspire, and can give your
muscles energy from the
carbohydrate content. The
sodium content helps you
retain fluids in your body.
✿ Limit your consumption
of caffeine and alcohol, as
they are diuretics and stimulate urination.
✿ Water isn’t the only item
you can consume to keep
your body hydrated. Many
fruits and vegetables are
packed with hydrating
Investing in a water bottle with