Stay hydrated as the temperature rises

Posted 23 June 2014 at 12:00 am

Lyndonville wins best-tasting water contest

By Nola Goodrich-Kresse, Public Health Educator for the Orleans County Health Department

Congratulations to Lyndonville Municipal Water System for winning this year’s Orleans County Best-Tasting Water contest. For those who tasted the water, Lyndonville was sample “B”. We appreciate our Municipal Water Systems for providing safe and healthy water to all of our communities.

Now that summer is officially here it is important to remember to stay hydrated – drink water whether you are thirsty or not. Increased heat and activity outdoors brings certain risks with it, particularly dehydration and heat-related illnesses.

Some people are more susceptible than others are to dehydration and heat related illnesses. They include infants, children, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses.

Dehydration is “the excessive (too much) loss of water from the body.” The more physical activity that you engage in, the more water you are likely to lose.

Possible signs of dehydration:

Dry mouth and fatigue.

If you are mildly dehydrated, you might experience muscular pain or pain in the lower back region.

Dark yellowish urine is also a good indicator that dehydration is setting in.

Severe dehydration can cause dizziness, confusion, accelerated heartbeat and eventually, kidney failure.

There are ways you can prevent dehydration from occurring. The most obvious way to prevent dehydration is by drinking a sufficient amount of water to replace the fluids you lose throughout the day. The best way to figure your ideal daily water needs is to take your body weight and divide it in half. This is the number of ounces of fluid you should be consuming on a daily basis through beverages and foods.

For example, a person who weighs 160 pounds should be consuming no less than eight 10-ounce glasses (80 ounces) of water each day. You should drink more than this during extreme heat and/or if you are engaging in physical activity.

Consider these suggestions for keeping yourself well hydrated:

Foods with high water content can help you meet your fluid needs. Some examples include soups, stews, citrus fruits, grapes and melons.

Low-fat and fat-free milk, 100 percent fruit juice and decaffeinated tea and coffee can also count toward your minimum eight glasses of fluid a day.

Develop a habit of staying hydrated. Drink a glass of water when you wake up, one between and at each meal, and one at bedtime to make eight. Remember you need more during hot days or when engaging in physical activity.

Keep bottled water in your car, backpack or desk.

As the summer continues remember to drink plenty of water and take breaks in the shade especially when out working, playing, exercising and at the various festivals and fairs this year.