Hot weather or sunny days in particular bring about an opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities; these activities could be anything from having a picnic outside with your friends and family members, laying down in the sun, and so on.
However, most of the time, one can feel the prickly heat that comes along with this kind of weather. More often than not, someone can find themselves reaching for chilled cold water to combat this heat and the unpleasant symptoms of dehydration.
Here in the Philippines, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) said that there will be hotter days especially for this month as well as the month to come.
Chris Perez, PAG-ASA senior weather specialist, had said that so far, we are beginning to record the maximum daytime temperatures.
And so far, we have started to record ng maximum daytime temperatures since the onset of the dry season.”
Water intake is vital, and in fact, a crucial thing for the health of the people. Actually, this is for their bodies to maintain good bodily function and to be able to regenerate. But really, how much water intake does a human body need on a normal and a regular basis?
On a regular rate, what’s normal is to drink about six (6) to eight (8) glasses of water — that is how much water is recommended to be taken on a day to day basis in accordance to the government’s “EatWell” guidelines; and that’s also what we have been taught.
The reason for this is said to be because eight glasses equate to around two litres or three and a half pints; this amount of water intake is sufficient to replace how much water your body excretes every day through bodily processes such as sweating, urinating, and breathing.
But what if there are day-to-day activities?
However, some certain factors come into play as to how much water a person should drink. Some of these could be:
- Exercising regularly;
- If it is an excruciatingly hot day outside;
- If a person has vices (smoking and drinking)
These are the factors that can change that could influence a person’s water intake; and in such cases, a person may and should drink more water than usual.
Dehydration and its risks
During hot weather, avoiding dehydration is a priority; extra care must be taken because dehydration causes your body to lose more fluid compared to how much water the body should be taking in.
In the event of dehydration, the mineral balance of your body therefore gets upset and cannot function normally. If this persists and is left unchecked, a person can result to experiencing certain conditions such as kidney stones, constipation, heat exhaustion — or even worse, heatstroke.
Experiencing dehydration is simple and easy to identify. Many of its symptoms are actually obvious and can be seen just by a regular person.
Feeling thirsty is one of the most obvious reasons. If you feel like you’re thirsty more often than the usual, then you should start taking in more water than how you normally used to. Feeling parched means the person may have already lost around 1% of fluid in their body; and if this goes up and above to 2%, the person is officially dehydrated. Other signs to look out for include:
- Feeling tired or faint;
- Muscle cramping;
- Infrequent urination with very dark urine;
- Diarrhea; and
- Many more
Knowing how much water you should take is especially good as it is the first step in preventing dehydration. Our bodies are Science and Science is in line with Mathematics — they never lie.
Preventing yourself from being dehydrated will require you to drink a little more water than usual; and especially if you are perspiring a lot. For warmer weathers like what we’re experiencing now, we should take more than ten (10) glasses compared as to how much water is usually taken by an average person to make up for the heat.
Because we sweat out a lot and we have little-to-no means of coping with it, we can actually counter it by drinking more and more!
Regular sips of water
Once you feel the kick of being thirsty and you begin to feel somewhat dehydrated, you must — you need to take regular sips of water to avoid being completely dehydrated. As such, if one plans to exercise, make sure to be well hydrated before starting to do so.
While the recommended amount of how much water intake a person should ranges from about six (6) to eight (8) glasses from day to day, you should not take this advice on a literal sense — why? Because approximately 20% of a person’s daily water intake actually comes from food. The fruits and vegetables incorporated in a person’s healthy diet can help hydrate your body.
Milk is actually a good, if not the best, candidate for hydrating a person’s body due to the fact that milk gets absorbed more slowly by your intestines, meaning it stays in your body longer. When perspiring as well, a person is not only experiencing the loss of water but also important electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, which are both found in milk but not in water.
Alternatives to water
But that does not mean all drinks are good for hydration. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks, for instance, are strong diuretics; they make you urinate more than usual and they can actually make you lose bodily fluids more than what you’re actually thinking you’re getting.
Drinking too much water on a hot day, however, is a problem that athletes face as well as they are prone to drink more water than an average person due to all the exercise that makes their bodies lose a lot of fluids.
Sweat consists of the electrolytes essential in a human body, and most of these are not found in water which means by only hydrating yourself with water and exceeding past the recommended limit of how much water should be taken may dilute the blood into a dangerous degree.
This may lead to a condition known as hyponatremia which may cause issues to your brain and may even be fatal.
So if a person plans to exercise for longer than an hour, it would be best to switch water with an isotonic sports drink instead. This will not only rehydrate the body but also bring back the nutrients your body may have lost due to excessive sweating partnered with the heat.
How much water you should drink will depend on a lot of situations — if you consider yourself as a person who can’t go on an hour without drinking water, you might need to heighten that numbers up more because our country is experiencing a lot of different changes in the weather and climate.