Stay hydrated during the heat wave
SUMMARY: Most of the country is experiencing above-normal temperatures, making it even more important to stay hydrated.
Posted: July 18, 2013
Much of the country is experiencing a heat wave that is sending some to hospitals for dehydration and heat exhaustion. While you might be opting to stay indoors as much as possible to beat the rising temperatures, make sure you're keeping your body in peak working condition to avoid illness. It's also important to note that being dehydrated can lead to dry mouth and bad breath. Follow these tips for the rest of heat wave:
Pay attention to the mouth
Dry mouth is caused by dehydration, so you shouldn't ignore the sticky and desert-like feeling in your mouth. It's your body telling you that you need water! Just as you get the feeling of thirst when you are dehydrated, a mouth lacking any moisture is a sure-fire sign that you need to drink up. Dry mouth is also a precursor to bad breath, as the dryness in your mouth causes bacteria to become trapped, thus causing bad breath. If you feel like you have "hot mouth," you might want to grab a glass of water.
Stick to light meals
Not only does eating a large, heavy meal sound unappealing in the hot summer sun, it won't do much to hydrate you. Try to include as many vegetables and fruits into your diet because they naturally contain water, so you don't actually have to drink fluids to get hydrated. Make sure you are snacking on salads, veggies with light dips or fruit, which will also help to battle your bad breath.
Tips to stay hydrated
Start your day right: Begin each day with a tall glass of water – yes, even before your morning coffee. This will replenish the fluids that you lost during the night, and it will also help your metabolism and overall body function. It will give you a kickstart in the morning for your hydration as well. It may even make you feel more awake and ready to tackle the day.
Establish breaks: If you are working at a desk all day, it helps to have a filled water bottle near you at all times, but sometimes your job doesn't make this as simple as it sounds. For those who don't have a job where staying hydrated is a cinch, make sure that you are establishing breaks designated to drinking a glass of water throughout the day. This way, you'll know that you are consuming a reasonable amount of liquid each day.
Keep water on hand: You're much more likely to drink water if it is by your side throughout the day. If you don't have one already, invest in a reusable water bottle that you can refill whenever necessary. Some water bottles even have features, like a small dial, that help you to keep track with how many bottles you've consumed so you know you're staying properly hydrated.
Cut down on sodium and sugar: While drinking beverages that contain sugar or sodium count toward your daily intake, it's best to avoid them as much as possible. Soda and sugary juices won't do much good to keep you hydrated, and vegetable juices with sodium can just dry you out. Also, toss that table salt and opt for a high-quality sea salt or pink Himalayan salt to cook with. Both of these alternatives contain less sodium and more minerals that promote cell health and hydration.
During the summer, it can become a challenge to stay properly hydrated, but not paying attention to your consumption of liquids can lead to illness. So drink up! It'll make your body, mind and mouth feel great.