Water Benefits Health News, Issue #3

August 17, 2011

Hello, Water Friend

The current heat wave in the U.S. and the tragic deaths of young athletes in the news has inspired me to share a few tips this month about dehydration and heat stroke. Dehydration and heat stroke are common heat-related illnesses that can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.

Thus, the feature article in this issue is about how to prevent them. Please note that infants and young children, the elderly (over 60 years), people who work outdoors, and athletes are the most susceptible to heat stroke.

Drinking filtered water regularly and throughout the day is the key to proper hydration and prevention of heat stroke. For athletes, adequate hydration and electrolyte replenishment will significantly improve performance and recovery.

To your health,

Nancy Hearn

P.S. Check out the fantastic 30% off sale that Aquasana is having this month on their whole-house water filtration systems. Aquasana filters have received top rating by Consumer Digest for the past two years.

And if you aren’t sure if you need a filter for your home or office, you might want to check out this page: What Is In Your Tap Water?

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Table of Contents

  • Dehydration and Heat Stroke – How to Prevent Them
  • Proper Hydration Basics for Sports and Fitness
  • How to Replenish Electrolytes in the Body After Exercise
  • Sports Dehydration in Children

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Dehydration and Heat Stroke – How to Prevent Them

We all lose body water each day through sweat, urine, breathing, and stools. Dehydration occurs when we experience abnormal depletion of body fluids and/or a lack of water intake.

In addition, according to the Merck Manual, lost body fluids contain electrolytes (electrically charged minerals) in varying concentrations. Thus, water loss is always accompanied by electrolyte loss. Both water and electrolytes (especially sodium and potassium) are critical for proper hydration.

What is Heat Stroke?

Under normal circumstances, our bodies generate internal heat and we keep ourselves cool primarily through sweating. However, when we are physically active in the sun with high heat or humidity for intense or prolonged periods of time, our bodies’ cooling system can start to shut down.

Dehydration is a major cause of the inability of the body to produce enough sweat. Most people are chronically dehydrated. Thus, when we are already dehydrated and then are physically active in the hot sun or heat, our risk for heat-related illness increases significantly.

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

When the body cannot cool itself effectively, its internal heat rises to dangerously high levels, causing heat stroke. Just a few of the symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • dizziness or headache
  • sluggishness or extreme fatigue
  • rapid heartbeat or blurred vision
  • hot, dry skin
  • disorientation or confusion
  • hallucinations or loss of consciousness
  • very high body temperature

How to Treat Heat Stroke

Heat stroke must be treated immediately since it can cause permanent organ damage, or even death. In the news, the specialists noted that it was vital to try to cool down the person while waiting for professional medical help to arrive.

A few suggestions to help cool down the person include the following:

  • Apply ice and/or cool water to the skin of the person
  • Get the person indoors or at least in the shade
  • Help the person into a cold shower or tub if possible
  • Have the person lie down in a cool area
  • Encourage the person to drink clean water or electrolyte enhanced water

How to Prevent Dehydration and Heat Stroke

Prevention is always going to be more effective than treatment. The following are steps you can take to prevent dehydration and heat stroke, especially if you are active and live in one of the warmer climates:

  • Drink at least one-half to three-fourths your body weight in ounces of water.
  • Increase water intake if you are exercising outdoors or sweating heavily.
  • Avoid drinking coffee, tea, alcohol, soda and alcohol as these beverages are dehydrating.
  • Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing in light colors.
  • Schedule your physical outdoor activities during the early morning or later evening when it is cooler.
  • Drink electrolyte enhanced water before, during, and after physical activity lasting more than 60 minutes.
  • Take frequent water breaks (every 15 minutes or so).
  • Elderly and children should be protected from the sun by wearing wide-brimmed hats and sunscreen and using some type of sunshade, such as an umbrella.

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Related Articles on WaterBenefitsHealth.com

Proper Hydration Basics for Sports and Fitness

How to Replenish Electrolytes in the Body After Exercise

Sports Dehydration in Children

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Well, that’s it for now. Look for next month’s issue with more news and updates.

Just so you know, I update WaterBenefitsHealth.com several times a week, so if you would like more regular updates, simply go to our Facebook page and “Like” us.

Water Benefits Health on Facebook

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Nancy Hearn is a certified health and nutrition consultant, hydration specialist, fitness advisor, and freelance web writer. She is the author of WaterBenefitsHealth.com, 4TotalWellness.com, and AntiagingWisely.com and has published numerous health articles and eBooks.

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P.S. I have many interests related to water and health that I could write about in this monthly newsletter. Topics related to specific health conditions, hydration, body cleansing, sports hydration, recommended water filters, types of drinking water, water contaminants, solutions to water pollution, and more.

However, my primary purpose in writing this monthly newsletter is to share relevant information about water and health that interest you, the reader.

So, if you have a specific question about water or health, please let me know what you want me to write about. Contact me anytime at nancy@waterbenefitshealth.com and mention the newsletter.



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