Not enough can be said about the importance of drinking a lot of water. Dehydration occurs when a person doesn’t consume enough or if they lose too much fluid. Without enough water, the human body, which is two-thirds water, cannot function properly. And, although it’s possible to go for a long time without food, people cannot live without water for more than a few days.
Most people easily replace fluid lost through natural body functions, such as breathing, sweating, and going to the bathroom, by simply drinking and eating. But working for even a short amount of time in our scorching desert heat can quickly cause you to experience the symptoms of dehydration, which include:
- A dry or sticky mouth or a swollen tongue
- Fatigue, weakness
- Dizziness, lightheadedness
- Dry skin
- Weight loss
- Dark yellow urine or a decrease in urination
Even though we often hear that thirst is a sign of being dehydrated, it’s not a sufficient measure, because you could be dehydrated and not feel thirsty. So hydrate yourself even if you don’t feel thirsty, but especially if you are working or exercising outside. Keep a water bottle with you at all times, and drink throughout the day. Drink a large glass of water before going to bed and when you wake up each morning.
Water is the best option for hydration. Soda and caffeinated beverages aren’t going to add much water and can cause other problems.
If you don’t like plain water, try drinking a flavored water or adding a slice of lemon, or slices of cucumbers or strawberries. Other fluids, like juice and tea, count, too. There are also many foods that have high water content and which can help replenish lost fluids. Lettuce is 95% water, watermelon is 92% water, and broccoli is 91% water. Soups, popsicles, and yogurt also have high water content.
It’s also extremely important to keep your pets hydrated. You should bring them indoors if it gets too hot outside, or you could provide shade and even a misting system to keep your outdoor pets cool.