Red Cross Encourages Proper Hydration During Intense Heat

Red Cross Encourages Proper Hydration During Intense Heat
Excessive heat can be deadly and has caused more deaths in recent years than any other weather event.

Excessive heat is expected to bake central Illinois this week with the heat index rising well over 100 degrees. Excessive heat can be deadly and has caused more deaths in recent years than any other weather event. Weather experts say it will be so hot heat illnesses are possible, especially for people who work or spend extended periods outside. This intense heat can cause discomforting symptoms if regular and adequate fluids are not consumed.

Water is one of the most important components of our daily diets. Water helps lubricate internal surfaces, flushes toxins through the kidneys, transports nutrients throughout the body, maintains healthy blood pressure, regulates body temperature and sustains healthy vital organs.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Summer heat seems to bring on more instances of dehydration due to larger losses of body fluid through sweating. Be conscious of the following symptoms to help prevent or treat dehydration:

  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Tiredness
  • Decreased urination
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Delirium
  • Water Consumption Recommendations

    The National Institute of Medicine recommends about 3 liters of fluid for males and 2 liters for women. The general recommendation for eight 8 oz glasses of water per day converts to about 1.9 liters. This amount would be sufficient for most women, males need slightly more. Those who exercise, work outside or sweat excessively experience extra water loss and create higher fluid needs.

  • When hydrating in the summer heat, water is your best option.
  • Sports beverages may be needed through strenuous exercise and excessive fluid and electrolyte losses through sweat.
  • Choose beverages with lower calorie content and lower added sugar. Juices, sodas and sweetened coffee beverages can add unnecessary simple carbohydrates to your diet.
  • Alcohol should be avoided as it causes dehydration.
  • For more Red Cross heat safety tips, please visit arcillinois.org/tip-library/heat-related-illness/16-heat-tips.