Safe Summer Hydration
Summer is an amazing time of year. There are so many wonderful outdoor activities that you can participate in. Unfortunately, spending hours and hours outside in the heat can also lead you to problems such as dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke if you’re not careful. So here are some situations we would like to make you aware of that can contribute to dehydration. Read through this list and drink plenty of water and Ultima so that you stay safe in the summer heat:
You’re in the water:
What many people fail to realize when they spend all day in the pool or at the beach is that they still need to consume lots of fluids. You may rationalize avoiding consuming water because you are IN the water, but you are still being physically active, and you are still being exposed to the sun, so you are going to be losing fluids and electrolytes. Pack lots and lots of fluids for those beach trips!
When you have sunburn, your body is dried out by the sun (picture a grape left out in the sun: aka a raisin), so you need to drink more fluids than usual.
You have been drinking alcohol:
Most people know that alcohol can be dehydrating, but most people who drink casually at BBQs or outdoor gatherings in the summer don’t take the proper precautions. Limit your alcoholic beverages and, if you do choose to drink alcohol, your best chaser is usually going to be lots of water.
You are consuming caffeine:
Caffeine is a stimulant and a diuretic, but most people don’t realize that there are some “natural beverages” that contain herbs that are stimulants and also dehydrating. Coffee, tea, certain kinds of Vitamin Water, Red Bull, and any so-called energy drinks all contain caffeine. These beverages can actually dehydrate you instead of hydrating you.
You have your period:
Sorry to my male friends out there, because I know you hate reading this stuff, but it is good for you to know too. Hormonal fluctuations around “that time” can affect your levels of hydration, so be vigilant!
You are on a prescription:
Some prescription medications can be dehydrating or contraindicated with sun exposure. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure that it is safe for you to be in the sun.
Foods that hydrate are called carboHYDRATES for a reason:
If you are not getting enough of them, you need to make up for it in extra fluid intake. Additionally, too much protein can actually be dehydrating. Whereas good quality carbohydrates and fats release only carbon dioxide and water when they are burned for fuel, protein leaves a nitrogen-containing residue in the form of ammonia when it is burned. Ammonia, as you might already be aware, is toxic, and the body needs to eliminate it. Eating too much protein can therefore actually place a lot of added stress on the liver and kidneys and have a diuretic effect. This is very bad if you are sweating a lot and competing in the heat, as it can also end up taking a lot of minerals out of your body.
You are stressed:
This can affect the body’s hormones, which can make your electrolytes and levels of hydration out of balance.
You have traveled by airplane:
As you have probably noticed, there is not a lot of humidity on airplanes, and there are also huge altitude changes. These are two things that can greatly affect your hydration.
Finally, don’t forget to use sunblock while you are outside. This will not only help you to avoid sunburn, but it is also a coolant. Drink lots of water and Ultima and enjoy the rest of your summer.
Julianne Soviero has been a pitching instructor for over twenty years. She has produced countless award-winning athletes and dozens of scholarship athletes. She is also a certified personal trainer, hypnotist, and the author of Unleash Your True Athletic Potential. Her newest book, Empowered Recruiting, focuses on the college recruiting and selection process for student-athletes. She has appeared in media across the country, including Fox and Sirius. She is available for private consultations, workshops, and speaking engagements. Check out her website: