5 Tips to Prevent Dehydration on Hot Summer Days

During the summer months, it is critical to think about preventing dehydration and other heat-related illnesses. Dehydration occurs when the body loses more water than it takes in, usually on hot days when you are overexerting yourself. This water is lost through normal bodily processes such as urinating, sweating, and if you are sick, through vomiting and diarrhea.

Who's at Risk for Dehydration?

Working or participating in outdoor activities on hot summer days often causes people to be at more serious risk of dehydration. This water loss can lead to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and in severe cases, death. The risk of dehydration increases for some people more than others.

construction worker on top of building hammering in materialsThe four groups that are most at risk for dehydration include:

  1. Athletes and those that exercise. People who spend hours training and competing in the hot summer sun lose excess fluids caused by their activities. These groups often do not have an adequate intake of fluids to make up for that loss.
  2. Outdoor workers. Those that work outdoors, such as landscapers, construction crews, police officers, and postal employees, spend most of their days in the heat. These outdoor workers often have little time for bathroom breaks or drinking fluids. As a result, these workers may not consume enough fluids during their workdays.
  3. Children. Many children spend a great deal of time outdoors being active once school is out for summer. Water and other fluids may not be the first thing on their minds when consumed with fun outdoor activities with their friends in the heat.
  4. Older adults. With age, some changes can impair the ability to sense thirst. The body also does not adjust to hotter temperatures the way that it used to. Seniors that struggle with incontinence may also be trying to limit their water intake to lower their risk of having an accident.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

The intensity of your exercise or activity during the hot summer months increases your chances of losing water quickly and becoming dehydrated. Staying educated about your body’s water requirements and the signs and symptoms of dehydration can help prevent heat-related illnesses.

woman feeling fatigued on an exercise machineSome of the mild to moderate signs and symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Dry mouth and lips
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Decreased urination

Dehydration is one hundred percent preventable. You can usually treat mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more water or an electrolyte sports drink.

More severe signs and symptoms that require immediate medical attention include:

  • Seizures
  • Severe diarrhea for 24 hours or more
  • Bloody or black stool
  • Inability to keep fluids down
  • Disorientation or irritability
  • Little to no urination
  • Rapid breathing or heart rate
  • Sunken eyes

5 Tips to Prevent Dehydration and Stay Cool

woman golfer drinking water out of a water bottleWe have put together five tips to stay hydrated and cool during the hot summer months to avoid the risk of dehydration or a heat-related illness.

  1. Drink plenty of water. It is essential to consume fluids during higher intensity or longer periods of exercise or outdoor activities before you are thirsty. If you wait until you realize that you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. Health experts recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, which is about two liters.
  2. Avoid drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol while in the sun and heat. These types of drinks stimulate the production of urine, thereby promoting dehydration.
  3. Choose light-colored, loose-fitting, and breathable clothing. These materials can help you stay cooler as they won’t stick to the body as they absorb the heat from the sun. There are even some clothing options that are made with an SPF material.
  4. Remember to take breaks. If your job requires you to work in the hot summer sun or engage in outdoor activities. Sitting in the shade and hydrating can help the body avoid symptoms of dehydration such as dizziness, fatigue, and dry mouth.
  5. Opt for a rehydration beverage. Sports drinks such as Sqwincher help replace some of the electrolytes lost through sweat. These drinks can help provide carbohydrate energy to the muscles and aid in recovery.

Sqwincher as a Rehydration Product

Many years of research and development went into formulating Sqwincher products to rehydrate the body. Sqwincher products provide a higher level of hydration in various formulations and flavors that deliver the necessary potassium, sodium, and electrolytes to rehydrate and replenish the body.

When the body is dehydrated, the brain functions are compromised. Mental processes such as thinking clearly, performing tasks safely, and staying focused become challenging when a person is becoming dehydrated. When the body is depleted of electrolytes, water alone won’t do the trick. That is where Sqwincher products come into play.

Whatever your lifestyle is, a Sqwincher product is convenient and flavorful to get your hydration on. Sqwincher is available in these formulations:

  • Ready to Drink
  • PowderPack
  • Single Serve
  • Liquid Concentrate
  • Sqweeze Pops

Each Sqwincher product is low in sodium, sugar, and calories, and they are all gluten-free. Many are also preservative-free, contain no artificial sweeteners or dyes, and are an excellent source of Vitamin C.

Sqwincher Products

Water is a necessity that the human body requires to stay healthy. If you fail to drink enough daily water, non-caffeinated fluids, or electrolyte beverages like Sqwincher, you may experience a heat-related illness such as dehydration. It’s important to remember that anytime a person who has been exposed to heat becomes disoriented or unconscious, immediate medical attention must be sought.

If you have any questions about Sqwincher products or any other hydration products we offer at Personally Delivered, please give us a call. Our Product Experts are just a phone call away and ready to assist.

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The Importance of Hydration with an Ostomy

Hydration with an ostomy can have its challenges. There are many benefits to staying well hydrated in general, but it is especially important for those with an ostomy. Every biological function of your body relies on the body being properly hydrated. You’ll concentrate better, your skin will retain elasticity, wounds will heal quicker, and staying hydrated will help your digestive system function properly. The body’s ability to absorb water is often compromised after ostomy surgery, so staying hydrated is vital for all aspects of your health and well-being during this time.

Why Hydration is Important in General

person pouring water into a glass from a stainless steel pitcherBecause water plays a vital role in the proper function of the human body, we are dependent on it. The human body is made up of 60% water, so we rely on it to:

  • Keep our eyes, nose, and mouth tissues moist
  • Regulate our body temperature
  • Lubricate our joints
  • Help prevent constipation
  • Help lessen the burden on our kidneys by flushing out waste
  • Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells throughout the body
  • Help dissolve minerals and nutrients to make them accessible to the body

When it comes to staying hydrated, it is different for everyone. It depends on the size and weight of an individual, the environment they are in, their overall health, whether they are pregnant, or a variety of other situations. By staying hydrated, you can potentially prevent health complications further down the road. Your doctor should be able to help determine how much water you need to drink daily or refer you to a specialist that can further assist.

Why Hydration Is Even More Important with an Ostomy

When you undergo ostomy surgery such as a colostomy or ileostomy, the large or small intestine is diverted and its ability to absorb nutrients and electrolytes is compromised. Therefore, those that have had ostomy surgery are more likely to face dehydration and inadequate electrolyte levels.

Some water is absorbed in the small intestine, but most of it is absorbed in the large intestine, referred to as the colon. Because of this, staying hydrated with an ostomy can be difficult. Most colostomies and ileostomies result from a disease in the large or small intestines.

  • When a colostomy is performed, the stoma is created by using the large intestine (colon) and bringing it out to the surface of the skin to divert the removal of waste at this new opening. Water absorption is sometimes limited to the small intestine depending on the location of the colostomy, making proper hydration difficult.
  • When an ileostomy is performed, the stoma is created out of the last part of the small intestine and bringing that out to the surface of the skin to create a new opening. Water absorption is then limited to the first two parts of the small intestine, contributing to the risk of quicker dehydration.

assortment of Sqwincher hydration products making a splashBoth of these surgeries require someone to pay close attention to hydration with an ostomy. Ostomy patients must ensure that they have an adequate intake of fluids to keep their electrolyte levels up so they do not start to suffer from dehydration symptoms such as dizziness or dry mouth. If signs of dehydration appear, consuming a drink containing electrolytes such as Sqwincher beverages can give a boost, but if hydration is a persistent problem, your doctor should be contacted immediately.

The Role of Electrolytes in Staying Hydrated

Electrolytes come from the foods you eat and the fluids you drink. They contribute to the proper balance of fluids in the body and they maintain the blood’s pH level. Electrolytes are minerals like sodium, potassium, and chloride that carry electrical signals to power our nerves and muscles. These minerals carry an electric charge when they are in a fluids like water that we drink.

Electrolytes play an important role to help our bodies properly function. Those roles include:

  • Heartbeat regulation
  • Body temperature control
  • Muscle contractions
  • Bladder control
  • Energy production
  • Neurological functions

Simply put, electrolytes are the minerals responsible for directing water to those areas in your body that need it most. They help us maintain fluid balance throughout our bodies which helps us stay properly hydrated, ensuring our bodies can function well overall.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Many people may find it difficult to stay hydrated with an ostomy and find themselves to be chronically dehydrated every day. They might suffer from daily headaches, lethargy, dizziness, or persistent muscle cramps. However, one of the best indicators of dehydration is simply the color of your urine. The darker the urine, the more likely fluid intake is too low.

urine color chartSome of the most common symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Persistent headaches or migraines
  • Lethargy
  • Feeling dizzy, shaky, or weak
  • Nausea
  • Heart palpitations
  • Thirst and dry mouth
  • Decreased urine output and/or darker colored urine
  • Leg or muscle cramps
  • Poor concentration
  • Constipation or bloating

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, your body is probably letting you know that you need to increase your fluid intake. As always, if these symptoms are affecting your daily life or are persistent, contact your doctor.

Tips to Stay Hydrated with an Ostomy

So we know that hydration with an ostomy is super important, but what are some ways that we can be sure we are getting the electrolytes and nutrition we need while also making sure these options are healthy?

Plain old water is good for hydration but alone, it is not the best source. Consumed by itself naturally, water doesn’t contain the salts and sugars necessary for hydration. When you’re using electrolytes for hydration, you’ll want to choose a drink that offers a good balance of electrolytes and healthy carbohydrates. An electrolyte drink that contains a lot of sugar can lead to further dehydration and end up defeating the purpose.

Pedialyte clearSome fluids that can help you stay hydrated with an ostomy:

  • Coconut water
  • Vegetable juices like V8
  • Sqwincher products or other low sugar electrolyte drinks
  • Pedialyte
  • Homemade oral solutions such as 200 mL Squash concentrate and 5mL of salt. Just sip throughout the day.

 

 

Not only are oral hydration solutions great for hydration with an ostomy, but consuming foods that have high water content are also important.

Some foods that are high in water content are:

  • Watermelon
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Apples
  • Jell-O
  • Yogurts
  • Smoothies

Some additional tips for hydration with an ostomy:

  • Drink fluids slowly so your body can properly absorb them.
  • Try to eat first, then drink fluids. This helps with fluid absorption.
  • Carry a water bottle and make sure you refill it when necessary.
  • Try infusing water with fruits, or try making your own smoothies.
  • Talk to your doctor about adding Imodium or Metamucil to your diet.

It is very important to pay close attention to signs that you may be becoming dehydrated when you have an ostomy. Always remember to contact your doctor if your symptoms are persistent or if you are struggling with hydration with an ostomy.

For any questions about the products that we carry that may be helpful, please contact one of our Personally Delivered Product Experts and they will be happy to help.

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