With Illinois in a giant heat wave, HSHS is reminding Illinois residents to drink water during this heat. Water is essential for bodies to function properly and it can help you feel your best. 60% of the body is made up of water. It regulates body temperature, lubricates and cushions joints and protects organs. Cells need water to transport nutrients. Wastes and toxins are flushed out through sweat, urine, and bowel movements which all require water.
Drinking water can also affect mental health. Being well-hydrated can provide what a person needs to stay alert, focused, and productive. Dehydration occurs when a person loses more fluids than they take in. If there is hot weather, if you increase your physical activity, and when you are sick, you will need to increase your fluid intake. Drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks can also cause you to lose water.
Some signs of dehydration include extreme thirst, dry or sticky mouth, less sweat than usual, dark-colored urine or no urine at all, dry skin, digestive problems, and headaches or dizziness. Symptoms usually go away when you rehydrate.
Many people reach for beverage options like sports drinks to hydrate during workouts since they have extra carbohydrates, minerals, and electrolytes. Other popular drinks are regular soda, fruit drinks, and energy drinks. Doctors urge caution as these contain extra sugar, calories, or caffeine. Sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugars in the American diet. People who often drink sugary drinks are more likely to face health problems, such as weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cavities, and gout.
A 12 ounce regular soda has more than 10 teaspoons of added sugar, adding up to 150 calories. Consuming two sodas a day adds up to 2,100 calories in a week. Experts at HSHS say you should carry a refillable water bottle with you, choose water when you eat out, drink a glass of water before you consume your meal, mix up your water options by adding fruit slices, or vegetables and herbs, and don’t forget fluids are in many foods.
Water is often overlooked as a key element to overall health. Just taking a few simple steps can help you stay hydrated and healthy. If you suspect significant dehydration, seek medical attention immediately. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital visit hshsgoodshepherd.org.