Summer Safety: How To Avoid and Prevent Heat Injury and Dehydration

Now with summer rapidly approaching and temperatures starting to rise all over the U.S., it is important to cover some information that is pertinent to your activities. Certain very physical occupations and activities require more activity in the direct heat, as well as the need to consume more water. Even if you work in an office, or if you have a moderately physically demanding job, don’t take the heat lightly and practice heat safety when needed: it is easy to allow yourself to become dehydrated.

First, let’s repeat what we’ve covered in other articles. Thirst is actually a late sign of dehydration. What this means is that your body becomes dehydrated before thirst kicks in and prompts you to drink. Another problem is with osmoreceptors. Without delving too deeply and allowing confusion, these osmoreceptors in your brain help to regulate the concentration of your bloodstream, an area you can’t just “dump” water into to replace without affecting blood concentrations and components.

For this reason, it is important to follow preventative measures by drinking water regularly before an incident occurs. The osmoreceptors will prompt you (along with a feeling of fullness) not to drink any more until your bloodstream is balanced.  It is for this reason that IV solutions are isotonic…that is, compatible with your bloodstream and body chemistry.  I detailed in articles past that you can purchase isotonic packets that are very beneficial and easy to use. Trace Minerals Non GMO... Buy New $13.43 (as of 02:10 EST - Details)

Trace Minerals Research is the type that I use. The packets are 0.18 oz/5 grams. They are for the replacement of electrolytes, with Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium being among them. These packets are akin to powdered gold, and they can really be useful after you’ve had a grueling workout or a hard shift at work to replace the electrolytes you lost along with the fluid.

The best time for physical exercise is usually during the peak performance hours of 3 to 4 pm; however, this changes in the summer months. I recommend working out in either the early morning an hour or more before sunrise, or in the evening at about 6 pm to avoid the heat of the day. Wherever you travel, it is important that you take a good water supply. During the summertime, you should be drinking (on average) a gallon of water per day, and for jobs and actions with a lot of physical labor, even more.

Cold water will help bring your core temperature down if you become overheated. Avoid cold fruit juices, as these have a lot of sugar in them (whether from natural or processed sources) and will deplete your hydration levels. The sugar works from a reverse osmotic angle and draws water out of your system in order to help you process the juice. Water or an isotonic solution, such as an ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) is your best bet. The sports drinks have a ton of sugar in them and a bunch of different chemicals that you may not want.

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