Tips to stay safe during this Extreme Heat

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June 20, 2022

By Joshua Vallelungo, MD


With this month’s forecasted heat and humidity, it’s not unusual for the heat index to top 100 degrees. This type of weather can present challenges as people work outside or enjoy the outdoors. Not staying adequately hydrated is a common problem.


People always talk about what the recommended amount of water an average adult should drink in a day. What is your recommendation?

General rule of thumb for adults how many ounces you should take in during the day is your weight x 0.5. If you’re pregnant or exercising, obviously, you should take in even more. Drink water throughout the day, not consuming all at once.


How about kids?

Amount varies for age, gender and weight but main thing to stress is to have children drink water throughout the day versus other kinds of beverages.


How about athletes?

Same as above for adults but increase 12 ounces for every 30 min of exercise


Does only water count? Or any type of drink?

Water is what your body needs to replenish what you lose through your body’s metabolism. There are many products out there that help to re-hydrate you. “Energy drinks” are a big no-no. Sports drinks are an alternative but water is all your body generally needs.


When the hot summer days start, should we also change our diet? What should we eat?

You should eat healthy like you would during any other time of the year but eating lots of natural fruits for the water content is an excellent reason to add more fruits to your regimen.


How often do you see dehydrated patients?

It can vary, but the incidence of patient visits for dehydration rise dramatically during summer months when we’re more likely to be exerting ourselves in the heat.


How and why does dehydration happen?

A simple difference of supply and demand. Your body is using more water than you are replenishing.


What are some of the consequences of dehydration?

Vary from minor to severe: increased thirst, dizziness, racing heart, weakness or fainting, confusion, decreased urine output


Is there such a thing as too much water?

Yes, like anything else, too much of anything is a bad thing!


Some people say that coffee dehydrates you. Is that truth?

Caffeine, in general, activates certain processes in your body which signals your body to excrete water.


Can you please give us some recommendations on how to stay safe and healthy throughout these hot summer days?

Avoid exercise and exposure during high heat index days. Listen to weather forecasts for high heat stress days, and plan events that must occur outside during times when temperatures are cooler.


Your body needs water to function; it is one of the body’s most essential nutrients. Drink before you go outside, exercise or start an activity. Thirst is an early sign of dehydration. Once you feel thirsty, you already have some catching up to do.