Summer is one of the most popular seasons due to its hot days, long nights, and a chance to relax and enjoy the outside. Many people travel over the summer months, some might take up exercising or a new exciting outdoor activity, all of whom are sure to get their vitamin D from spending hours in the sun.
While the season is great for a number of reasons, it’s important to stay hydrated in order to enjoy your summer experience to the fullest. Increased sun and heat exposure during this time can threaten your hydration status. Know the signs and symptoms of dehydration, as well as some useful hydration tips so you can continue to enjoy your summer to the fullest.
What Causes Dehydration in the Summer?
Usually, when people think of what causes dehydration during the summer months, they imagine someone running or exercising directly under the heat of the sun. This type of activity will certainly increase the amount you sweat, but there are many causes of dehydration other than high-intensity exercise in the sun. Heat exposure alone is enough to cause dehydration, even if you stay out of direct sunlight. For example, if you are hiking in a well-shaded area you may not be worried about a sunburn, but you should remain cautious and well hydrated. Heat and humidity both cause your body to sweat, which subsequently leads to the loss of water and electrolytes.
How Low Humidity Can Cause Dehydration.
Low humidity can also lead to dehydration by reducing the moisture available in the air for your body to absorb. That’s the very situation many find themselves in while travelling on an airplane, for example. The cabin’s humidity level is typically between 12-21%, which is similar to that of the desert. This can make your skin feel dry, and by the end of your flight you may feel fatigued. In addition, with limited access to beverages during the journey, it is easy to forget how little you are drinking.
Dehydration in Other Summer Environments.
Summer inspires lots of travel, making it harder to maintain proper hydration as we might not always have access to water. In addition, dry travel environments are not exclusive to planes, and many other forms of transportation will have limited access to any hydration solution. If you are in a car, bus, or train, you may choose to avoid drinking regularly so that you don’t require to stop for the toilet. On the other hand, if you are drinking caffeinated beverages to stay awake while on a road trip or driving around town, the diuretic effect can lead to dehydration. This means that drinks like coffee make you pee more, thereby reducing your body’s hydration status. Other naturally dry locations and climates you may travel to pose an increased risk of dehydration during the summer, with added heat on top of low moisture environments.
Stay Hydrated in the Summer.
With all of this, what is a good way to stay hydrated over the summer? Here are some of our favourite summer health tips that will help you reduce your risk of mild to moderate dehydration.
Eat fruit/vegetables – Eating food items that have a high water content allows for hydration with less need to drink water. Summer is the season for many delicious and fresh fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, peaches, blueberries, and tomatoes, so be sure to enjoy all the fresh produce while staying hydrated!
Ice lollies – When you can’t escape the heat, flavoured ice is a great way to stay hydrated and cool. Ice lollies are a great treat for kids as well as adults! For more effective and rapid hydration, we recommend making your own using an oral rehydration solution such as Hydralyte, by filling up ice cream/lolly moulds and putting them in the freezer for a few hours.
Stay in the shade or go inside regularly to cool down – Just because the sun is out, it doesn’t mean that you must be. If you are prone to dehydration or other negative side effects of prolonged sun exposure, be sure to seek refuge in the shade or indoors often.
- Use an electrolyte rehydration solution – Drinking rehydration solutions like Hydralyte are a great way to replenish water and electrolytes fast. Whether you’re under the sun, exercising and sweating, or somewhere with low humidity and moisture in the air, we recommend that you supplement your water intake with additional electrolytes for the quickest hydration. If you are mild to moderately dehydrated and will continue to be outside, sometimes water alone isn’t enough.