Are you ready for summer? Cause we sure are! We are approaching the time of the year when temperatures begin to rise to insane levels here in Las Vegas. While this is great for enjoying the pools and parks, it can also be very dangerous if you are not prepared. Hydration is going to be key when it comes to staying safe this summer and knowing how to stay hydrated in hot weather will be something you will use the rest of your life.
It is important to know the warning signs of temperature based illnesses and ways to prevent them.
Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion
While heat exhaustion may not be life-threatening, it can lead to very serious illnesses such as heat stroke. This can cause damage to the brain as well as affect other vital functions of organs and even lead to death if immediate medical attention is not reached. While the Las Vegas valley presents a dry heat, you will still sweat out a lot of water and sodium from being outside and exposed to the sun. Because you also lose salt when you sweat, there are two forms of heat exhaustion: salt depletion and water depletion.
Be on the lookout for these signs of heat exhaustion:
- Excessive thirst
- Muscle cramps
- Dark-colored urine
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- Rapid heartbeat
Take Preventative Measures
Often times, symptoms of heat exhaustion goes ignored, and if you begin to show signs of a heat stroke, it is very difficult to seek medical attention yourself. This is the reason it’s important to take precautionary measures to ensure you do not succumb to these illnesses. Drink lots of water if you know you will be out in the sun at some point. You need to be well hydrated before heading out in the sun as well as staying hydrated throughout the day. Make sure you consume foods that have higher levels of salt to replenish any electrolytes you lose through sweating.
If you notice symptoms of heat exhaustion, it is crucial to get out of the heat immediately and rest. Head indoors to an air-conditioned room or a shady area to cool off. Take small sips of water in case you are feeling nauseous. Vomiting will only worsen your dehydration. If your conditions begin to worsen, or you do not see any improvements within 15 minutes, seek out immediate medical attention.
While staying hydrated in the summer is important people don’t realize that it is equally important if not more, during the cold weather months.
The Importance of Staying Hydrated in Winter
Sweat evaporates faster in winter
You know it’s time to replenish your body’s water supply during summer when you feel the puddle of sweat collecting on your car’s seat or see the armpit sweat stains. During winter, your body is still producing sweat, but it’s evaporating at a quicker rate than it does in summer. Keep winter hydration in mind when you’re running errands or exercise by keeping a water bottle near. Just because you don’t see the sweat doesn’t mean your body isn’t producing any.
Winter hydration keeps your weight down
Winter days are short, and the weather is cold. Understandably, you want to go home and warm up on the couch under a blanket instead of warming up at the gym. Staying hydrated in cold weather can help make up for the days you skipped working out. Water helps your body break down fat for energy. If you’ve been feeling hungrier and snacking more than usual, it’s probably your body craving water. Summer will be here soon enough, and winter hydration is the first step in achieving your beach bod.
Extra clothes mean no excess water
The extra jacket you threw on before work this morning could be doing more harm than good if you’re not drinking more water. Cold weather dehydration could be a result of the heavy, extra layers of clothes causing your body to work harder without having fluids replaced. A cool drink of water doesn’t sound appealing in the cold weather, so warm it up and let it heat up your insides while aiding in winter hydration.
Whether it’s hot or cold outside people love to get out and be active. Staying hydrated while exercising seems like common sense but so many people forget to take that drink of water between those squats or during that hike up the mountain. Spending time outdoors is great for your mental health but you must remember to also take care of your physical health and stay hydrated!
Dehydration prevention is the best way to keep you from experiencing overexertion while hiking. Learn some dehydration symptoms, and find the best tips on how to prevent dehydration while exercising.
How to Handle Dehydration while Hiking
Even if you’re going for a walk on a trail, keep in mind that you’re going to be in the sun. Sometimes, harsh UV rays can take a toll on your body. Dehydration prevention is the best way to keep a hiking trip from taking a wrong turn.
- Temperature-related illnesses such as heat stroke
- Lack of appetite due to dizziness and nausea
- Disorientation and confusion
- Dark urine color or inability to urinate
Keep these symptoms in mind when you’re hiking, so you can work towards dehydration prevention.
Prepare yourself for your hiking trip
The best way to prevent dehydration is, of course, to pack plenty of fluids when you go hiking. Here are more hydration tips:
- Bring with you about 2-4 quarts of water and sip it throughout the entire trip.
- Check on your urine color. If it is clear, you’re well hydrated.
- Rest when you can. A hiking trip shouldn’t be a race. If you push yourself too much, you will experience overexertion. Forcing your body to work while you’re dehydrated is a sure way to cause damage to your body.
- Bring trail mix on the walk. Eating trail mix and bananas are a great way to restore the electrolytes you may have lost during your hike.
- Avoid drinking sugary drinks, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks on your hiking trip as they may cause vomit due to them sapping your body’s fluids.
- Limit your sun exposure and try to stay in the shade. Your body could lose up to a quart of fluid per hour.
Treat your dehydration while hiking by getting out of the sun and sipping on water to replenish your body’s fluids and electrolytes. If you start to experience severe dehydration or heat stroke, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
LV Urgent Care for Severe Dehydration and Other Hiking Injuries
Now that you know how to stay hydrated, make sure to take of yourself if you are hiking at Red Rock or another Las Vegas outdoor space. If you ever experience severe dehydration or other hiking related injuries, let Las Vegas Urgent Care take care of you. Visit us today!