Summer Hydration 101

Summer Hydration 101

Summertime is here, which means we’re soaking it all up in the Pacific Northwest! Temperatures are hotter, days are longer, and we are finding every excuse to stay outside under the sun. As temperatures rise, we are sweating more which means we are losing water faster than ever. But have no fear – hydration (and sun screen) is your best friend this summer!

Did you know over 60% of our body is made of water? We rely on water to help our organs function, keep our blood volume up, deliver nutrients, remove waste and most importantly, help us maintain a stable body temperature. We lose water through breathing, urinating and sweating. While the majority of our water losses come from urinating, we lose on average 100 mLs (3.4 oz) of water from daily sweating, and up to 1-2 liters/ hour when exercising. This is up to 33-64 oz of fluids loss per hour!

Needless to say, staying hydrated is crucial during the summer when we are more active and sweating more.

What Happens When We’re Dehydrated?

Being dehydrated means there is less blood volume running in our body, which can lead to less blood flow and oxygen being delivered to our muscles and organs. This can result in less energy to use in our muscles which can make us feel tired quicker. Our heart has to work harder to pump the blood in our body, which means our body is doing extra work.

There are several levels of dehydration – learn to recognize the signs you can be safe and still enjoy the summer!

Heat Exhaustion

Climbing Camelback Mountain

Dr. Baker practicing great sun protection while hiking Camelback Mountain.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Profuse sweating
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Feeling faint
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure

How to treat:

  • Stop activity
  • Rest in shade
  • Lie down
  • Drink plenty of room temperature/ cool fluids

Heat Stroke

Signs and symptoms:

  • Lack of sweat
  • Dry and hot skin
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Mental confusion
  • Disorientation

How to treat:

  • Call for medical attention!
  • Start cooling the body by fanning the body, cold towels or ice packs around neck, underarms, groin
  • Immerse or drench body with cold water

Ways to Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated doesn’t mean drinking only water, nor does it have to be plain and boring. There are many great options out there now that brings great flavor, helps you replace electrolytes, and brings zero guilt. Be sure to use a container that you enjoy drinking out of, whether you need a straw or one that is insulated to keep your drink cool!
*Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with any of these products below. These are all fan-favorites that we like to share!

*R2D: Ready-to-drink

I hope you have a lovely summer and stay hydrated!

Adriana Ho, MS, RDN, CD
Registered Dietitian

Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition, 3rd Edition by Heather Hedrick Fink, Alan E. Mikesky, Lisa A. Burgoon, Pages 224-229