The heat can, at times, be unbearable during the summer months. Most individuals find ways of cooling off by spending time in sprinklers or at the pool. But sometimes, a day at the pool can have an unintended consequence: dehydration.
If it’s hot enough, lounging poolside means you are sweating as your body tries to regulate your body temperature. Playing in the pool or swimming means you could be sweating even more because of all the extra effort and work your body is doing. Unlike when you run or hike in the heat, you don’t see sweat in the pool so you may not see obvious reminders of dehydration. To prevent dehydration at the pool, it is important to hydrate before, during and after you jump in the water. How much you should be drinking varies from person to person, and depends on many factors such as activity level and environment including temperature and humidity. The USDA recommends the adequate intake of fluids for men is roughly 13 cups, and for women it is roughly 9 cups throughout the day. Water, sports drinks, teas, and juices are excellent sources to help you stay hydrated during the heat of summer. In addition, try this summer refreshment to quench your thirst. Lightened with aspartame, this peach iced tea will hit the spot without having a large impact on your waist.
Frozen treats, in addition to pools, are synonymous with the dog days of summer. Try packing a few of these lemon and ginger pops in a cooler to bring with you to help you stay hydrated. The simple and refreshing treat will provide an alternative to obtaining your fluids and will also keep you cool when you sit on the pool deck.
Don’t forget that the fluid in foods with a lot of moisture can also help to keep you hydrated. Examples of foods that can be enjoyed cold include summer soups and watermelon. Pack your cooler full of ice to make sure your foods are safe and refreshing.
Lastly, it is important to recognize the symptoms of dehydration (cramping, dizziness, headaches and sluggishness), so you can get out of the pool and rehydrate.
To track your fluid and calorie intake this summer, try out this food calorie calculator.