We’ve all heard that staying hydrated is especially important in the summer, but do you know why?

 

Did you know that the human body is made up of 60% water for the average person? Vital organs account for most of the H2O in our bodies.

  • Our brains are made up of approximately 70% water. No wonder we are at risk for severe headaches, dizziness and even heat stroke during hot summer days! Staying hydrated is extremely important in order to keep our brain functioning properly.
  • Also, our blood is made up of about 83% water. This is important to know because our blood is crucial for food digestion, waste transport, and body temperature control. Body temperature control could really come in handy on a 90+ degree day!

It is important to know how much water we need daily; men need about 3 liters (100 oz.) while women need about 2.2 liters (74 oz.) a day.

  • These numbers are the minimum to maintain health, and will need to be increased on hot summer days because we will naturally lose more water.
  • Hydration through water is best, but also juices and other liquids will help.
  • Remember that foods, mainly fruits and vegetables, can contain a high amount of H2O as well and they are critical to a healthy diet in the summer.

The main ways that we lose water are through sweating, going to the bathroom, and breathing. Other factors that increase the rate in which we dehydrate are exercise and heat.

  • Remember to hydrate before, during and after exercising
  • Always drink more fluid on days with higher temperatures

What is lost besides just H2O?

  • Being dehydrated means we’ve lost H2O and electrolytes.
  • Electrolytes are needed in our bodies because they are responsible for getting nutrients into the cells, while also excreting waste products.
  • Hydration (H2O) is responsible for electrolyte transport throughout the body which keeps our cells functioning correctly.
  • Common electrolytes include; sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride. Sports drinks usually contain electrolytes to replenish what is lost when we sweat.

Acceptable ranges for electrolytes in a recovery drink

  • Sodium: 150-750mg
  • Potassium: 200-1000g
  • Calcium: 400-1200mg
  • Magnesium: 200-800 mg
  • Chloride: 90-750mg,

Enjoy the Labor Day weekend and stay hydrated!

About the Author:  Chelsea Clemmer is working at Vein & Aesthetics Clinic of New England

References:

Family Doctor Editorial Staff. (2011, June). Hydration:why it’s so important. Retrieved from http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/food-nutrition/nutrients/hydration-why-its-so-important.html

Perlman, H. (2011, June 20). Water science for schools. Retrieved from http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html

Sally, W. (2005, March 17). victorynutrition.com. Retrieved from http://www.victorynutrition.com/hpages/ref_docs/electrolyte_story.html

Staff, M. C. (2011, October 12). Water: How much should you drink every day?. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283/