Summertime just wouldn’t be complete without the Texas heat. But we’ve all had those long days at the pool or lake when the headache starts to creep in, and you think, “did I drink enough water today?”
Dehydration is one of the most common reasons our patients visit us during the summer months. And although we love seeing you guys, we’re here to tell you how to stay healthy and hydrated!
What You Need
According to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, healthy adult men need approximately 15.5 cups of water (or hydrating fluids) a day and about 11.5 cups daily for women. That’s about 3.7 liters for males and 2.7 liters for females.
These guidelines include fluids from water and food. In fact, about 20 percent of all daily fluid intake comes through food!
Eat your H20 with fruits high in water concentration, including:
- Cherry tomatoes
You may require more fluids in a day depending on the condition of your overall health, as well as if you sweat due to exercise or the weather, and if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Why it Happens
A survey using 3,003 Americans found that a whopping 75 percent were chronically dehydrated, despite drinking about eight servings of hydrating liquids a day. This offset is caused by drinking caffeinated beverages, eating foods high in sodium, and most popularly—drinking alcohol.
A study conducted by BACtrack found that June is the heaviest drinking month for Americans, with an average BAC of 0.066%, while July and August are tied for second with an average BAC of 0.063%. Alcohol can land you in the ER for a multitude of reasons, but dehydration is a common one.
Alcohol is a diuretic, and it removes fluids from your blood through your kidneys, bladder, and ureters much faster than other liquids. This means that if you’re not consuming just as much, if not more water than alcohol, you’re on the fast track to dehydration. Especially if you’re drinking in the sun!
Even mild dehydration can have negative effects on your body and energy levels. By the time you start to feel thirsty, about 2-3 percent of your body fluid has already been lost. This can make you feel tired and lethargic because your blood volume lowers, causing your heart to pump harder to get blood to your brain.
Other signs of dehydration in adults include:
- Dry mouth
- Muscle fatigue
- Odorous, dark-colored, or infrequent urine
- Eyes or cheeks have a sunken-in appearance
Other causes of dehydration include:
- Humid or hot weather
- Urinating frequently
- Exercising and sweating
- Diarrhea and vomiting
Here are four easy steps to follow for better hydration:
- Drink a large glass of room temperature water first thing in the morning to restore your body of fluids lost while sleeping
- Always have a hydrating beverage handy to sip on in the car, at your desk, or on the couch
- Minimize your caffeine and alcohol intake during the day
- Drink one cup of water for each caffeinated or alcoholic drink you do consume
We’re Here to Care
When you’re dehydrated, the best treatment is to replenish your body with the fluids it’s missing. Sometimes all this takes is consuming water, Gatorade, and other fluids with electrolytes. In more serious cases, an IV with fluids and other medical attention may be necessary.
Severe dehydration can lead to complications like urinary and kidney issues, seizures, injury, and heat exhaustion or heat stroke, brain damage, and low blood volume shock, so it’s not something that should go ignored.
We are here to treat and care for all medical emergencies, including those that are more prevalent during the summer months. SE Texas ER & Hospital is conveniently open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. For a full list of services we provide, click here or give us a call at 281-883-5500.
This summer beat the heat by staying safe and well hydrated!
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, SE Texas ER & Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on SE Texas ER & Hospital, or any of our concierge-level medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.