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This week I want to talk about hydration. One of the most important things to remember during the summer is that you need to drink water. Many people prefer soda or even a cold beer after a long day and that is fine, but water is really the best thing you can do for yourself after a hot day. In fact, drinking alcohol while outside in the sun is one of the worst things that you can do for your body so even if you are at a cookout with some friends, it is important that you make sure yourself and everyone else drinks plenty of clear fluids.
Soda and alcohol both get some liquid into your system, but there is so much carbonation in them that you likely can’t get enough of it in to combat the dehydration that happens naturally from being outside in the summer. We aren’t saying that you can’t “crack open a cold one with the boys”, but it is important to remember that you can’t drink beer if you are in the hospital with heat exhaustion. Heat related illnesses are difficult enough to catch in yourself already, but the impaired judgement that happens with alcohol will make it even tougher. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least one glass of water for every alcoholic drink that you have.
For those who don’t like drinking water, other mostly clear fluids are good too. Things like lemonade or iced tea are great alternatives and flavored water or sports drinks can be the way to go as well. Remember that sports drinks are specifically designed to combat dehydration in those who sweat a lot in a short period of time, so stock up on your favorite flavor and bring a few along when you’re planning to have some alcohol. They also work wonders if you end up waking up with a hangover.
Although it can be annoying to keep track of how much water you’re drinking, it is much safer than getting sick with something completely avoidable like heat exhaustion. Plus, a case of water is much cheaper than a hospital bill if you are admitted for dehydration. If you want to make the best out of your summer, be sure to keep stocked on some nice, cold bottles of water. Trust me, you’ll thank us in the long run!

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