With the summer heat already upon us, we all need to be aware of not only potential skin damage from the burning rays of sunshine but also the dangers of dehydration.
Dehydration occurs when you use and lose more fluid than you intake, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. Simply put, if you don’t replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated. Note that not all liquids help with rehydration. Diuretics, such as coffee and tea, actually cause you to lose water more quickly. Drinks high in protein and alcoholic beverages can also dehydrate you.
Now that you know what not to drink, what liquids can help your body stay healthily hydrated? Experts suggest drinking water, sports drinks with electrolytes, and fruit juices. Sip water often rather than drinking a large amount once every few hours, as your body is constantly sweating to try to cool itself and can dehydrate gradually throughout the day.
The Symptoms and Risks of Dehydration
Similar to failing to apply sunscreen in the heat of the summer, not drinking enough water can lead to serious, even life-threatening, health problems. Dehydration can lead to heart failure, rapid heart rate and can lower blood pressure if gone unchecked. Some signs of dehydration to look out for include:
- Dry Mouth
- Decreased Urine Output
- Very Yellow Urine
- Dry Skin
- Tiredness and Lethargy
- Increased Thirst
Note that diabetics are especially susceptible to dehydration and should be extra vigilant about their water intake. Additionally, young children and older adults are at high risk of dehydration and associated health problems.
How Can I Stay Hydrated Throughout the Day?
Whether going grocery shopping, heading to work or sitting by the pool, always bring a water bottle with you. To reduce costs and plastic consumption, carry a reusable water bottle that you can refill at home.
Though water can be boring for those of us who enjoy a bit of variety throughout the day, you can experiment with infusing water with fruits, such as strawberries, lemons, blueberries and more.
Many have been told that six-to-eight glasses of water per day is sufficient, but different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. For instance, if you are very active, work outdoors or exercise often, you may need to hydrate before, during and after activity to stay healthy. It is good to know the warning signs of dehydration, but don’t wait until you feel thirsty before you drink something. Prevention is the name of the game.
Dehydration Dangers in the Workplace
At Wieland Hilado & DeLattre, we have worked closely with clients who were unfortunately not provided enough water on work sites, resulting in injury. When employees work in hot temperatures, particularly if tasks involve heavy manual work, dehydration can occur very quickly. To address this risk, employers must provide adequate amounts of cool water at work areas and should encourage employees to drink water every 15 minutes. During rest breaks, employees may also drink sports drinks as an acceptable alternative for fluid replacement.
If you, a friend or a loved one were unfortunately injured as a result of workplace negligence or simply have questions, do not hesitate to contact Wieland, Hilado & DeLattre, P.A. at 407-841-7699. For additional resources, keep checking our blog, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for more helpful hints and to always stay informed about best practices in law.