The summer can bring about some extremely hot days, especially around July and August. Therefore, it is important to stay cool and hydrated all summer long to avoid dehydration. Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated however, do you know that it is possible to drink too much water? Drinking a large amount of water in a short period of time can cause the rare condition called hyponatremia or water intoxication. This overhydration causes the level of salt in your blood to drop too low which can result in headaches, nausea and vomiting. Although this condition is rare, it is still very important to prevent it by practicing Proper Hydration.
In simple terms, Proper Hydration is defined as finding the right amount of water to ingest. This can vary person to person. Proper Hydration is one of the most important aspects of healthy physical activity. It helps regulate bodily functions like blood pressure, heart rate, muscle performance, and cognition. Drinking the right amount of fluids before, during and after physical activity is vital to providing the proper fluids the body needs to perform. Athletes in particular can have difficulties regulating their water balance. To help, sports dietitians develop individualized hydration plans that aim to enhance performance in training and competition while minimizing risks for dehydration, over-hydration, heat illness and injury.
For people who are not athletes, it may be hard to find that perfect hydration balance. It is a lot easier if you do not do strenuous activity in the heat all day to figure out how much water you need. Mostly because your body notifies you when you are thirsty and when you are not. The body strives to maintain a state of balance at all times, so having a reusable water bottle on hand is a good way to go to maintain Proper Hydration. If you do choose to go outside in the heat, make sure you bring plenty of water with you, so you do not get dehydrated. If you feel yourself not being able to tell if you are consuming too much water or not, please consult with your primary doctor.
For information on proper hydration, click here.
Article written by William Graves.