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Drink up this summer!

By Caitlin Kehoe

There is one particular day of my life that I will never forget. I was in junior high, and it was one of the last days before summer vacation. I should have been excited but, on this particular morning, I wasn’t feeling like myself.

My class was doing an activity that involved getting up and walking around. When I stood up from my desk, a rush of blood went to my head and I felt instantly woozy.

I told my teacher this, and she instructed me to sit down and wait while my mom was called. As I made my way back to my desk, I felt my legs give out from underneath me, and then everything went black.

I had briefly fainted from dehydration, and that feeling is something I never want to experience again.

I was fortunate enough to have been only mildly dehydrated. My mom took me to the hospital, and I was told to go home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids. The next day, I was feeling much better.

But dehydration can be much more serious than what happened to me and, especially during the summer months, it’s a risk that everyone should be aware of. Whether you’re earning some cash working outside this summer or you plan to spend your free time soaking up rays on the beach, here are some tips to remember.

Image: freeimages.com

Image: freeimages.com

  • Break the rule: The “8X8 Rule” that states we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day isn’t as accurate as you might have thought. According to the American Institute of Medicine, for optimal hydration men should drink 13 cups of fluids per day and women should drink 9 cups.
  • Other fluids count: Drinking that much each day may seem impossible, but remember that those numbers include ALL fluids. Coffee, fruit juices, and many foods (such as cucumbers and watermelon) provide our bodies with water. That’s not to say that you should rely on those to stay hydrated — if you constantly have a coffee in your hand, swap it for some H2O.
  • Be aware of your environment: Our bodies lose water when we sweat, so doing physical activity and/or spending time in a hot environment will dehydrate you more quickly. In these situations, be extra vigilant and drink more water than usual.
  • Spot the symptoms: Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration, which can usually be treated by drinking more fluids, include dry mouth, headache and lightheadedness. Symptoms of severe dehydration include dry skin, fever, confusion, and rapid heartbeat/breathing. Should you witness someone with any of these symptoms — or experience them yourself — get medical help right away.

Do you have any summer safety tips to share? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @HeadsUpAB

One Response to “Drink up this summer!”

  1. […] a whistle blew you could see the women grabbing water bottles to re-hydrate. Take a look at Caitlin’s post to learn more about the importance of staying hydrated this […]


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