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By Platinum Team May 20, 2015

Staying safe in the summer heat

As the Valley heats up, protecting ourselves in the summer heat is a big concern. While your home’s A/C may be one way you stay cool this summer, we want to also take a moment to look at your personal protection in the heat beyond your home. Dehydration is no small subject here in Arizona, and several local incidents have called it to our attention around our office.

How hydration helps the body
Remaining hydrated is critical to a healthy body and mind. Staying hydrated helps prevent headaches, heartburn and indigestion. It also regulates elimination, reduces your appetite, lubricates your joints and maintains youthful skin. And, drinking plenty of water helps boost your morning energy levels and sustain your energy throughout the day.

How much fluid do you need?
Common medical recommendations use a simple equation: 0.5 ounces x Body Weight in Pounds = Daily Fluid Requirement in ounces. Check in with your doctor about your body’s specific needs.

What is dehydration?
Having your fluid level down by a liter is mild dehydration. Many times this manifests in a headache or other symptoms as your blood thickens. You may notice that you are not urinating regularly (every two hours) or that your urine is dark.
Severe dehydration can happen in less than an hour in extreme heat. When your internal temperature rises, heart rate increases, blood flow slows down and organ begins to shut down resulting in death. This is what has happened to many young, healthy people crossing our deserts in the extreme heat without enough water and too much exposure.

How can you rehydrate your body?
Mild dehydration is relatively easy to correct but should not be ignored. To rehydrate your body, drink water, and avoid caffeinated beverages or sodas. Drink 4-6 ounces at a time about every 15-20 minutes. Continue until you’re peeing regularly and your urine is relatively clear. Keep in mind that most water is absorbed through in the small intestine, and there’s a time lapse before the water you drink is absorbed into your bloodstream.
To help replenish your electrolytes, eat a snack containing salt and calcium (such as trail mix or crackers and cheese). Sources of potassium, magnesium and protein are encouraged as well.

Keep time of day in mind
As you plan your activities this summer, be sure to consider the time of day. While it may seem simple, choosing to engage in outdoor activities in the morning hours can be much easier on your body and lessen the likelihood of dehydration. Use the morning hours for activities like yard work, cycling, hiking, running and walking. Drink plenty of water as you do so.

Stay safe this summer
Wherever your plans take you this summer, be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks in your car or bag. Having these essentials at your fingertips can help you stay hydrated or correct any dehydration that you may experience. Along with carefully choosing the time of day for outdoor activities and consciously drinking plenty of water, you can keep yourself protected in the summer heat.