How much water should I drink daily?

July 15, 2021

Summertime Tips to Avoid Dehydration

As temperatures rise, so does your risk of suffering from dehydration, especially if you are working outdoors.

It is important to stay hydrated so your body can function properly. A lack of hydration can negatively affect your circulatory system and internal organs and cause your body to function inefficiently.

Drinking enough water is critical in preventing dehydration and heat stress. “Ideally, everyone should make 68 ounces their daily goal for water consumption to avoid dehydration,” says Dr. David Gude, Texas MedClinic’s Chief Operations Officer. “But, when working or playing sports outdoors in high, hot temperatures, you need to drink more water to maintain proper hydration.”

While sports drinks are often touted as the go-to beverage to consume when you’re outdoors, it’s important to note that plain water is sufficient for proper hydration.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

  • Start drinking water before going outdoors. It is easier to stay hydrated if you enter the heat with a well-quenched thirst. 
  • Consume water regularly before you feel thirsty. Thirst is a sign your body is already experiencing dehydration.
  • When out in high temperatures, drink 8 ounces of water every 15 – 20 minutes. This means you should be drinking ¾ – 1 quart (24 – 32 oz) every hour. Drinking smaller amounts at regular intervals is better than consuming large quantities of water infrequently.
  • Use the color of your urine as an indicator of proper hydration. Urinating regularly and producing urine that is light in color is a good indication you are well hydrated. If your urine is dark yellow, you should consume more water. 
  • Do not consume more than 1 ½ quarts (48 oz) per hour as this can cause a medical emergency by lowering the salt concentration in the blood to dangerously low levels.
  • Continue drinking water regularly once you come indoors to replace the fluids you lost while sweating.

 Beverages to Avoid

  • Energy Drinks: Some energy drinks contain more caffeine than coffee. Drinking multiple energy drinks in a day can affect your heart and add to the strain your body is under when exposed to high temperatures. 
  • Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages can further contribute to dehydration and, when consumed within 24 hours of working in the heat, can increase your risk of experiencing a heat-related illness.

 Symptoms of Dehydration

Common symptoms presented by someone suffering from severe dehydration may include:

  • Irritability
  • Sunken eyes
  • High level of thirst
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Weak pulse
  • Respiratory distress 

As temperatures continue to climb, it’s important to maintain your water intake and to recognize the signs of dehydration. If you or someone you know exhibit dehydration symptoms, Texas MedClinic is ready to help.

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