“Water please,” is the first thing I said as I slowly came to. I was lying down on the outdoor tennis court at my college campus where I had just passed out during color guard practice. Temperatures were only in the mid-80s that day in May a few years ago, but I had made a terrible mistake: not drinking water beforehand. This, combined with the hot weather and physical activity, gave me heat exhaustion – a condition, according to the Mayo Clinic, whose symptoms include fainting, fatigue, dizziness, weak and rapid pulse, low blood pressure, nausea and headaches.
Heat exhaustion is usually quickly fixed by resting, drinking water and getting out of the sun; however, if it isn’t treated, it can lead to heatstroke. Signs of this more serious condition include a core body temperature of 104 F or higher, altered mental state or behavior, nausea or vomiting, rapid breathing, racing heart rate and headache. Immediate medical attention is necessary. One of the top causes for heat exhaustion or heat stroke? You guessed it: dehydration.
It’s May again, the unofficial beginning of summertime in Texas, with hot temperatures that won’t go away until sometime in October. Now is the time to stay hydrated to stay safe!
According to the American Heart Association, if you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Drinking enough water is critical to stay healthy. Whether you are working out or just sitting in the sun, water is always the best choice. Sports drinks like gatorade can help after intense exercise, but they often had added sugar and calories. Sodas, fruit juices and other sugary drinks should be avoided, as they can be harder on your stomach when dehydrated.
Everyone’s heard the 8×8 rule (8, 8 oz glasses of water a day), but Healthline suggests that the more water the better. There have been many studies showing that increased water intake increases your metabolism, makes you more clear-headed, keeps your skin hydrated and may even lower your risk of cancer.
The best way to encourage yourself to drink more water? Invest in a new water bottle that you will look forward to using! We love the fashionable bkr Glass Water Bottle from Neiman Marcus ($42), which is made of glass for the best taste and features a spiky silicone sleeve for easy handling. Or, make your water taste even better with the Asobu Flavour U See Insulated Water Bottle ($20), which has a special center to hold fruit that will flavor your water without allowing any pulp to seep through – and insulation that will keep water cold for up to 12 hours!
Don’t pass out – or worse – before you decide drinking water is important. Take the steps to stay hydrated now for a safer, more productive and healthier lifestyle. Preventing dehydration is much easier than recovering from it, trust me!