Tips 'n Tricks — July 22, 2015 at 5:00 am

7 Benefits to Stay Hydrated During Summer Heat

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©istockphoto/warrengoldswain

©istockphoto/warrengoldswain

Researchers, doctors and health experts encourage proper hydration during the summer months. We are smack in the middle of summer’s long, hot and humid climate where sweat perspires off our bodies as fast as ice cubes melt. Hydration is key to optimal health, but many do not realize the importance of fluid hydration during hot temperatures. Here are seven reasons to never neglect water while “roasting” this summer.

Muscle Efficiency
Dehydration leads muscle fatigue and “hitting the wall” during exercise. Adequate fluids not only lubricate the joints, but water aids the transport of oxygen to the working muscle. Water helps remove the metabolic waste and regulates body temperature.

Cardiovascular Health
Dehydration lowers blood volume, which forces the heart to work harder to circulate blood and oxygen throughout the body. This results in making daily tasks such as walking or climbing upstairs much more difficult. This contributes to fatigue and why people feel “sluggish” in hot temperatures.

Regulates Body Temperature
The metabolism is a chemical process that releases heat. When we exercise in hot climates, our bodies are like an oven that is working under harsh temperatures. When overheated, our systems begin to fail. The body regulates its temperature through sweating, exhaling and with cold water consumption. Water or electrolyte beverages replenish fluid and mineral loss. Try to avoid room temperature and warm water as this “fuels the oven’s fire.” Choose cold fluids to “cool” the body.

Improves Digestion
Fluid is essential for nutrients to pass through the intestinal tract. A lack of fluid results in constipation, which long-term leads to additional digestion issues. Water helps remove bodily waste through urination and defecation. For healthy digestion, drink water 30-minutes before or after eating. Cold water combined with food causes gas, bloating and flatulence. Eat melons, fruit and vegetables to absorb water from food.

Prevents Dry Mouth
A dry mouth is uncomfortable and the summer heat influences a need for thirst. Adequate hydration keeps the throat, lips and mouth moist, especially while sleeping. Proper hydration makes eating easier. Our saliva consists of water and requires fluids to aid in breaking down the food. A long-term dry mouth is linked to cavities and bad breath.

Mental Clarity
Do you think clearly when exposed to heat? Adequate hydration leads to clear thoughts and mental focus. This improves the blood and oxygen flow to the brain. A two-percent drop in bodily fluids decreases concentration and causes short-term memory problems.

Supple Skin
Skin exposed to sun, hot temperatures and high winds cause dry skin, sunburn or skin damage. If dehydrated, the skin loses its elasticity. The skin is the body’s largest organ and hydration moves water through all of the body’s membranes, keeping skin elastic and soft.

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