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The Forgotten Summer Science of Hydration

Updated: Dec 14, 2021

—New York, NY

The Forgotten Summer Science of Hydration, running, water, hydration, sweat, sodium

We hear it all the time... "remember to stay hydrated!" Being constantly reminded to drink more water regardless of thirst can sometimes feel tedious. Water bottles become an in-demand item in the July heat, but cooling down and sitting in front of a fan can often hide that desire. Often, it can be confusing to understand when the body requires water and why. However, we need water for a reason during the summer and throughout the entire year.

Water makes up more than half of our body weight. Every aspect of our bodies requires water to function correctly, from our organs to our body temperature. Normal activities such as breathing, moving, and sweating all can exponentially reduce the amount of water in the body. Normally, the feeling of thirst comes from the body needing more water. When the amount of fluid drops, the body sends the brain a message signaling thirst. Sweating rapidly can sometimes reduce the fluid levels too quickly for the body to recognize its thirst, which is when dehydration comes into play.

Without proper hydration, the body is unable to balance electrolytes and minerals and begins to shut down. Especially during the summer, when the weather is hot and humid, it becomes important to stay hydrated at all times.

The Forgotten Summer Science of Hydration, running, water, hydration, sweat, sodium
Hydrating after losing fluids through sweat

It is important to aim for 8 cups of water each day, but that number can vary based on the individual needs of every person. People who find drinking water especially time-consuming or others who simply want to improve their hydration can implement water-based foods into their diet, like celery and strawberries, or minimize water-depleting caffeine. Even after beginning to drink water more frequently, it is still important to know what dehydration looks like. The symptoms can include itchy skin, headaches, and dizziness. As you enjoy the summer heat, remember to take breaks and replenish your body with water when you sweat.

This may seem like a lot to remember, but the bottom line is simple... "remember to stay hydrated!" Drinking plenty of water will keep the body ready to sustain summer activities. If any of the symptoms of dehydration begin to appear, be sure to cool down and drink plenty of water before the summer fun continues.

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