I am absolutely compelled to write again about hydration in this, our week of three digit temperatures. I had one reasonable and well intentioned patient who came in with symptoms and was FIVE LITERS short on her hydration !
Let us review. Normally, a non pregnant woman needs 2 liters of fluid per day. A pregnant woman needs three. Add another liter for temperatures over 85 degrees, and yet another liter for activity such as hiking. So if you are pregnant and hiking on a hot day, your fluid requirement is easily 5 liters, and that is assuming you are coming to the day adequately hydrated in the first place.
The human body is about 60 % water. Let's say you weigh 154#. That means you weigh 70 kg. That means you contain 42 kg of liquid or 4.2 liters. Getting short on fluid percentage wise is easier than you think.
How can you lose so much fluid ? Well there are the obvious ways, but then there is also respiration, sweat, and something short of sweat which is still fluid loss through your skin called insensible loss. It all adds up. Heat and activity increase insensible losses like crazy.
Here is the interesting stuff:
" ...fluid loss of 1% impairs thermoregulation (the ability to regulate your temperature), and thirst occurs at this level of dehydration......Vague discomfort and lack of appetite appear at 2 % . Dry mouth appears at 3%. At 4% work capacity is decreased. Difficulty concentrating, headache, and sleepiness are observed at 5%. Tingling and numbness of extremities can be seen at 6%, and collapse can occur at 7% dehydration. " ( reference from the World Health organization)
Here is the fun stuff:
Summer is a great time for cold drinks. Try to take the traditional summer cooler and put a healthy spin on it. Here are some examples that will provide you with much needed electrolytes as well as fluid and taste.
- Club soda with a splash of 100% fruit juice.
- Mocktails like Virgin Mary, Virgin Daquiris
- Herbal iced tea or sun tea on ice with lemon and mint leaves, sweetened with a little fruit juice
- Healthy fruit frappes made with fresh fruit, ice, and plain yogurt or kefir.
- Decaf mocha frappes made with ice, one pump of chocolate, and your milk of choice.
- Stay hydrated and enjoy !
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