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Dehydration in summer: Know easy tips and tricks to stay cool in this scorching heat!

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Lucknow: Water, it’s one of the most important elements for all living things. Up to 60 percent of the human adult body is made of water. Dehydration is a typical summer illness. Hot and humid weather leads to dehydration in the body due to several reasons. Dehydration occurs when there is a mismatch and the amount of water leaving the body is higher than the amount being taken in. Expert says, Fluids are essential to keeping the vital organs active. In summers one must have to intake more fluids.

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Know the signs of dehydration:
Headache, delirium, confusion. Tiredness (fatigue). Dizziness, weakness, light-headedness this is the sign of dehydration. Muscle cramps, rapid breathing, fainting, and not urinating (or having very dark yellow urine) are others sign of dehydration. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, the simple solution is to get out of the heat and drink plenty of liquids. There are small over-the-counter options like Pedialyte and Hydralyte that balance out electrolytes and sodium with dehydration as well. If anyone in your family is ill, pay attention to how much they’re able to drink — especially young children and the elderly. Anyone with a fever, vomiting or diarrhea should drink plenty of fluids. Do not wait for signs of dehydration.

Easy tips and tricks to prevent dehydration:

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# Sip water throughout the day:
Don’t wait till you’re thirsty to drink. Drink more fluids than usual when the weather is hot, especially if you’re active. Sip water through the day if possible. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. By that time you’re already slightly dehydrated.
Flavor your water. If water tastes boring to you, you can add flavor to it with fresh fruits or a splash of fruit juice.

# Intake water-rich fruits & veggies:
Eat water-rich fruits and vegetables. Certain fruits and vegetables contain plenty of water in addition to healthful nutrients. Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, mangoes, blueberries, apples, apricots, papaya and pineapples are fruits with high-water content. Water-rich vegetables include cucumbers, leafy greens, radishes, celery, zucchini and tomatoes.
Hydrating foods and beverages include:

-broths and soups
-bell peppers
-coconut water

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# Protect yourself from a Heatstroke:
Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and is considered a medical emergency. Heat stroke can kill or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs. Although heat stroke mainly affects people over age 50, it also takes a toll on healthy young athletes. The main reason for older adults being more vulnerable to this is the fact that their bodies don’t adjust to the change in temperature quickly.
Common symptoms of a heat stroke are high fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness. Putting your feet in cold water can help a lot in cooling the body down. If you are a caretaker, never leave older adults in the car – the temperature in a parked car can go up to 20 to 30 degrees higher than outside during summers. It is advised to get medical help immediately if you experience or see anyone suffering a heat stroke.

# Wear light weight dress:
It’s best to wear breathable and lightweight clothes in summers to keep the temperature of your body regulated in the hot sun. For example, you can opt for natural fabrics like cotton and linen instead of heavy clothing.
Wear light, loose-fitting clothing that lets your skin breathe. Dark colors absorb heat, so stick with lighter shades. Wear a wide-brimmed hat in the sun to keep your head cool and use plenty of sunscreen to avoid sunburn, which can increase your skin temperature and make it harder to say cool.

# Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine:
Both alcohol and caffeine are diuretics, meaning they can cause dehydration to the body. That is why you should try to avoid them as much as possible.

Rather than fulfilling your thirst, aerated and sugary drinks dehydrate you more. Its sugar and caffeine content do not replace any fluid lost via sweating. Meaning, it does more harm without providing any compensation.

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The advisory mentions that drinking these drinks can lead to loss of more body fluid. This may cause stomach cramps.

# Maintain cool environment at home:
You can keep yourself and your house cool this summer and be kind to the environment at the same time.
Keep your blinds closed, especially on north and west-facing windows, to significantly cool your home. Better yet, invest in some block-out curtains to shield your home from that harsh summer sun.

Stopping heat getting into your house in the first place means spending less on cooling. Shade windows and walls using external coverings, like blinds, awnings or large potted plants. Plant deciduous trees that cast shade over your home in summer, but still let the sun shine through in winter. If you can, invest in window tinting and top up your ceiling insulation – it’ll help keep the warmth in in winter, too.
If you must use your air-conditioner, set the thermostat to between 24-27oC, or as high as you feel comfortable with. Increasing your thermostat by just 1oC in warm weather can reduce the running cost of your appliance by about 10 per cent.

Cooking dinner in the backyard or at the park may be a cooler alternative to being in a steamy kitchen too, so make the most of a cool breeze when you can.

# Eat Whole Carbohydrates:
It is said that if you are on a diet and cutting whole carbs, it will make you dehydrated. Try not to cut carbohydrates like brown rice, whole grain pasta, and oatmeal from your meal. All these things are made by soaking in water which gives the body proper hydration as well as the energy to work.

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# Infuse with flavor:
Not a frequent water drinker? Try sprucing up your water by adding a few simple ingredients. Limes, lemons, mint, oranges, berries, cucumbers, and other fruits improve the taste without artificial sweeteners or preservatives. This can help you drink more water than you usually do, too. You can also give coconut water a try. This mineral-rich liquid is packed with potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium, so it replenishes lost fluids and electrolytes from exercise and hot climates quickly.

# Take enough sleep of 6-7 hours:
Not getting enough sleep is the worst that can happen not only in summer but any season. Lack of sleep can cause physical as well as mental fatigue leading to cognitive malfunctions, increase anxiety and cause high blood pressure. Take at least 6-7 hours of sleep to avoid dehydration. A cup of chamomile tea will not only get you better sleep but enhance the immune system and curb inflammation in the body.

Further reading:
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