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Staying hydrated during the warm months

As summer comes into full swing, it is important to stay hydrated as heat exhaustion can creep up on you and cause symptoms like headache, nausea, and dizziness, which can sometimes lead to vomiting, diaherra and even death.. It is always important to have water handy with you when you're headed outside. While the general rule of thumb is to drink eight cups of water, according to UCF Health you want to aim to drink at least 12 to 15 glasses a day during the summer months, especially if you are very active and frequently outdoors.  


Our bodies are made up of 60% of water and our brain is made up of around 73% water, so we must keep ourselves as hydrated as possible. Water also helps the body function in other ways. Water lubricates the joints and prevents the skin from drying up or potentially breaking out. 

Sometimes a cold juice or soda can be a nice treat to beat the heat, but it should be the first thing you grab if you’re feeling thirsty. Sugary drinks indeed have some water, but with all of the sugar, it can leave you more dehydrated than hydrated. 


Heat stress or heat exhaustion is a major sign of dehydration. This can happen when the body is extremely low in the water. Causes of heat exhaustion include exposure to high temperatures and are usually combined with high humidity and strenuous physical activity. If not treated properly heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, which can be a life-threatening condition in some individuals.


According to the mayo clinic, infants and children younger than 4 and adults older than 65 are at higher risk of heat exhaustion. The body's ability to regulate its temperature isn't fully developed in the young and may be reduced by illness, medications, or other factors in older adults.


The best solution is to drink water, but it is easier said than done. The fact is that many individuals do not like water for several reasons. One of the most common reasons is the lack of thirst. Just saying that you're not thirsty can hugely affect your body. According to HuffPost, over time, our body suppresses the thirst signals sent to the brain and we ignore the feeling of being thirsty. This reaction is known as neural adaptation, which is a change in activity in response to the same stimulus. This can be a positive thing when it comes to overcoming a fear of trying to get through a difficult time in your life. However, it is terrible for hydration because water is essential to our body and should never be forgotten. The body ends up diminishing the thirst signal to conserve energy and then holds on to the limited amount of water in our body. In addition, studies have found this lack of thirst recognition increases as we age.


So, it is important to find ways to motivate yourself to drink water as you get older. Perhaps adding a squeeze of lemon or lime can provide you with a zesty flavor to your water, while popping a few strawberries or blueberries can be very refreshing for your pallet. You can also opt for seltzer water, but be careful because too much of the carbonated drink can ruin your teeth, which can lead to oral problems. Another way is to set goals and reward yourself for accomplishing them. For example, if you manage to drink at least four cups of water every day for a week, then you can treat yourself to something you enjoy like ice cream or popcorn. Afterward, you should challenge yourself and see if you can drink even more water every day. You can even compete with your friends and see who drinks the most water in a week. Not only would it be a friendly competition, but it would allow you to encourage your and your friends to stay hydrated.  


Overall, hydration is key because we lose water every day through urine, sweat, and tears. This doubles in the summer times as a result of the summer heat. You lose water even when you exhale. To avoid dehydration it is important to always have water by your side and take a sip every 15 minutes. And if you're ever feeling heat exhaustion, find a place to sit and get as much water in your body as soon as possible.


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