With a dangerous mix of record-high temperatures and extensive outdoor labor, it is critical to stay hydrated. California’s unseasonably hot weather can cause your body to lose water more rapidly than usual. Dehydration, a condition that occurs when the loss of body fluids exceeds the amount taken in, is a serious health threat that is easily preventable. We lose water every day in the form of sweat, vapor, urination, and stool. If the body loses too much water we become dehydrated. Mild dehydration can be treated by increasing fluid intake, but severe dehydration may need to be medically treated. Urine color can also indicate dehydration. Dehydration may be present if urine is a deep yellow or amber color.
If you are experiencing dehydration it is important to replace fluids with small, frequent amounts. Clear fluids are ideal, or you can water down other beverages. Foods that are easily digested, such as crackers, rice and bananas all offer benefits to treating dehydration. When you sweat your body not only loses water, it loses essential salts and potassium. Crackers, breads and sports drinks can replenish sodium, while bananas offer potassium.
Dehydration is easily preventable.The average adult needs between two and three liters of fluid per day. If you are working outside in the heat make sure you are in-taking enough fluids, including occasional sports or fruit drinks. If water is the only beverage available you can add a pinch of salt to ensure you are maintaining your body’s necessary sodium balance.Eating watery fruits such as melons,strawberries and cucumbers can also help prevent dehydration.