Hydrate - Don't Wait!
Summers in Texas mean 100-plus-degree temperatures. This means that everyone should pay more attention to staying hydrated. Water serves as the body's transportation system. It is the way all other nutrients and important elements are distributed throughout the body. Without water, the body would stop. Water also works to remove body wastes.
Almost every function of the body requires water. The brain, eyes and spinal cord are the body's most sensitive organs that depend on water, along with the digestive system.
Water regulates body temperature. Our health depends on keeping body temperature within a very narrow range. The human body is made of 60-75 percent water. Sweat loss that is barely noticeable occurs every day and night. We may lose up to one pint (two cups) of water each day. In hot, humid weather, such as we are having now, or during exercise, sweating is more visible.
According to "Water, the Beverage of Life", prepared by Specialists with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, individual needs for water are different from person to person. Climate, physical activity level, age, state of health and body size determine requirements for water. Under typical conditions, adults may need up to eight cups of water each day. Infants, young children and older people may need more water than others. Children have lower sweating capacity that adults and do not handle high temperatures as well. Frequent vomiting and severe diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration. Older people may be at increased risk for dehydration because even though their body may need water, they may not feel thirsty. Some medications may also increase their need for water.
Outdoor workers and athletes are at special risk for dehydration. Since water helps control body temperature and cool working muscles, drinking enough water is vital. Lack of water, or dehydration, can lead to serious problems. Athletes who are involved in rigorous physical activity should schedule water breaks. It is recommended that 2 cups of water be consumed 2 hours before physical activity, and if possible, 1/2 to 1 cup of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during activity, followed by 3 cups of fluid for each pound of body weight lost.
Here are some easy ways to add water to your diet:
If you don't drink enough fluids, you may become dehydrated. Here are the signs of dehydration:
1) thirsty, dry mouth, flushed skin
4) high body temperature
5) increased breathing rate, rapid pulse
6) dark yellow urine
7) skin that stays in a pinched position
Dehydration can lead to hospitalization, confusion, cardiac arrest, convulsions, and increased risks of urinary tract infections and/or kidney stones. Staying hydrated is obviously the best choice!
4-H Record Books
This serves as a reminder that all 4-H members who wish to enter a Record Book for district judging should submit them to the County Extension Office by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 2. Contact us at 903-885-3443 if you have questions.
I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life" - unknown
Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed.
Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
1200-B W. Houston
P.O. Box 518
Sulphur Springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 - phone
903-439-4909 - fax