Whether playing a round of golf or taking the dog for a walk, our internal thermometer will respond by attempting to cool itself. Depending on weather conditions, a long brisk walk may generate up to 16 ounces of sweat (a pound of water).
The human body is made up of over 60% water and that is a reminder of how important it is to avoid dehydration. Water is essential for life and our best choice for refueling.
For the average person, who does light outdoor activities, the recommendation is 8 – 10 glasses a day. Athletes need to take extra precautions by drinking water one hour prior to exercise, every 15 minutes during exercise and an hour after exercise.
You can also stay fully hydrated by eating foods with high water content. Fruits such as watermelon and oranges or vegetables like celery, tomatoes, and cucumbers provide a nutrient-rich water source. Coffee and tea can also count. However, you should limit your intake of alcohol, because it is a diuretic. Diuretics make you urinate more and lose additional fluid.
Drinking sufficient levels on a daily basis is an important part of your bladder and kidney health. Good hydration is thought to help ‘flush out’ bacteria from the urinary tract and avoid infections (UTIs). It also helps to decrease the concentration of substances and crystallization involved in kidney stone formation.
Symptoms of dehydration can be minor, such as increased thirst. You can tell if you are getting enough fluids by checking your urine. It should be light-colored (pale yellow) and you should be urinating every 2-4 hours. Mild dehydration is easy to reverse – simply drink more water. Severe dehydration, on the other hand, requires immediate medical treatment.