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4 Tips and Tricks to Battle Dehydration

July 8, 2019

All Posts by MinuteClinic

Hot summer days bring plenty of opportunities to head outside and soak up lots of sunshine. But when the temperature rises, so does your risk of becoming dehydrated. Staying properly hydrated does more than give your skin a healthy glow. It's incredibly important for your overall health for many reasons—even being slightly dehydrated can dampen your energy levels and cause brain fog.

The good news is that you don't have to chug a liter of water to get the job done. There's plenty of ways to stay hydrated, from snackable salty foods to apps that track your water consumption with practically zero effort on your part. Read on to discover clever tips to keep you cool and how to know when you should seek medical attention.

How can I tell if I'm dehydrated?

One of the best indicators of dehydration is to take a look at the color of your urine. If it's dark yellow, you need to up your hydration game, especially if your urine smells strong or unusual. Fatigue, headache, dry mouth, chapped lips or confusion are other indicators. And if you're already thirsty, that means you're already dehydrated. If you're feeling dizzy or tired and concerned that you're dehydrated, stop into a CVS MinuteClinic, where staff can assess your symptoms and provide the right treatment.

Handy hydration tip #1: You've probably heard that it's a good idea to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. But if you're not making a solid effort to count each glass, you're probably going to lose track. Here's a good rule of thumb: Drink hydrating beverages throughout the day and keep an eye on your urine; when you're properly hydrated, the color will be clear or pale yellow.

Is water the only way I can hydrate myself?

It's not! There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that contain a lot of water. Apples, bananas, tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers and spinach are all high in water content. Watermelon and strawberries, in particular, are good, as they're made up of more than 90 percent water. Coconut water and seltzer are other options if you're thirsty and have become tapped out on regular water. And here's the best news of all: Coffee isn't as bad for you as you think it is.

Handy tip #2: Salty snacks, like crackers, are a smart antidote to dehydration because they contain sodium—an electrolyte that helps to deliver water to your body's cells. Your body craves sodium when you're trying to hydrate, especially after exercise. Some studies also show that milk is effective.

How quickly can I get dehydrated?

If it's hot outside, you'll have to be extra careful and drink plenty of fluids before beginning your workout. You can get dehydrated in as fast as 30 minutes if you're going hard during an intense workout. Shocking, but true.

Handy tip #3: If you're still struggling to drink often (or while working out), try drinking with a straw, which can help you take in larger amounts of water in a shorter amount of time.

How do I know exactly how much water I'm consuming?

Technology has come a long way, and there are plenty of apps that will keep track of how much water you're drinking. They can also provide a friendly reminder when it's time for a refill so you hit your target. There are also lots of high-tech water bottles that will track your water intake through the day—some even sync with your smartphone.

Handy tip #4: Now that you know you're drinking enough water, don't forget to reward yourself when you hit your hydration goal. And if your reward just happens to be a glass of rosé, that's okay, just be sure to pop in some ice cubes.