Recent summers have all been awfully warm. And this year, with the mercury soaring to record high, after a terribly hot May, the coming months are expected to bring more scorching days. Experts say it’s better to be prepared than be dehydrated!
"At rest, our body loses around 100 ml water per hour. However, during exercise or during times of excessive sweating (due to heat), the loss increases manifold. And if we don’t replace the lost water quickly, we can be dehydrated," explains Dr Yogesh Kataria, physician, Apollo Clinic. "Also, lack of water is the number one trigger of fatigue. Even mild dehydration — as little as a one to two per cent loss of your body weight — can sap your energy and make you tired, disoriented and
listless," he adds.
Know the signs:
"Dehydration often strikes unannounced, so keep a check on these signs — feeling light-headed upon standing up; passing dark yellow, highly concentrated urine (if you’re
drinking enough fluids, your urine should be almost colourless). Dry lips and tongue, headache, extreme fatigue, nausea and muscle cramps are other telltale signs," lists Dr Kataria. He adds, "The feeling of thirst indicates that dehydration has begun, so don’t wait to begin to feel thirsty." Combat it:
Take water breaks throughout the day and carry a water bottle when travelling. Also, have a glass of water or juice with meals and make sure you drink a glass of water before stepping out.
Remember that your thirst may not keep up with your need for fluids, so play it safe by drinking as much water, iced herbal tea and juice as you can. Avoid dehydrating drinks like coffee, tea, carbonated soda with caffeine, beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks, as they increase urinary water loss.
Eat some water:
Eat something at regular intervals. As water is absorbed slower if it’s part of a food, it remains for a longer time in your stomach. Foods that hydrate the body are milk, broths, soups, puddings, gelatine desserts, ice creams, yoghurt, fruits like watermelon, muskmelon, papaya, pineapples and apples, and vegetables like cucumber, lettuce, tomato, broccoli and carrots.
(Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist and a health writer)