“A drink in my hand/ my (skin) up against the burning sand/ probably getting gorgeously tan/ in SUMMER.” Olaf has is right, when you are out in the sun, you need to carry a drink in hand all the time. And by drink, I mean water. Water is an important way to avoid dehydration throughout the year, but has greater consequence in summer.
A large majority of our body is water. A person can only last 3 days without water before they will die from dehydration. This doesn’t mean dehydration starts three days in, dehydration can happen within an hour or less and when left untreated, death will occur within 3 days, sometimes before. Dehydration affects the young and the elderly faster than other demographics. Young people need more water because their bodies cycle through the water faster. With warmer days approaching (YAY!) it is important to make sure our families stay properly hydrated.
SIGNS OF DEHYDRATION
One of the greatest parts of summer is all the outside play. (See this post to encourage more outdoor play.) I’ve noticed that when kids are outside for long stretches they can become a tad grouchy. One reason dehydration creates cranky kids is the slowing of circulation. Water dilutes blood, the brain needs blood for mental clarity, mental clarity helps focus logical thought patterns, logical thought patterns dispel emotional reactions. When there is a lack of water, the blood becomes thicker and cannot circulate through the brain with enough frequency to help mental clarity.
Afternoon naps are one of my greatest joys (for me and my children), but sluggishness is another sign of dehydration. Again, this is related to poor circulation. If your child is lacking energy it may be related to dehydration. Spending time at water parks or amusement parks is more stressful when children aren’t able to keep up with the pace or they constantly whine about walking. If they are properly hydrated you can avoid some of the whining and they should be able to keep up with the rest of the family.
Yes, headaches can be related to dehydration (or the whining from a child’s dehydration). You guessed it, this is another result of poor circulation. It is more closely related to the pressure in the blood vessels trying to push the thicker blood around. Headaches can also be a result of elevated temperature, and maintaining proper hydration levels can sustain core body temperature and reduce the likelihood of headaches.
Sometimes when you feel the uncontrollable munchies, your body is actually craving water. Drinking a glass of water before endlessly snacking (and before each meal) will help reduce cravings and your waistline.
BENEFITS OF WATER
Water has many benefits beyond avoiding dehydration. The recommended amount of water is calculated by using your weight (in pounds) divided by 2, and that’s the amount of ounces you should drink daily. Drink more water if you feel the need, or stick with the basic 64 ounces of water (8-8 ounce glasses).
Drinking the recommended amount of water will help your stomach feel fuller, and it will help flush toxins out of the system more quickly. Proper levels of water will also help all the body systems run more smoothly. The result is losing weight at a healthy rate. This may be the best way to look cuter in your new swimsuit.
When toxins are flushed faster, they don’t have time to hang out and create havoc, especially in the skin. Layering sunblock (which is a must) can cause acne, but drinking the right amount of water can help avoid some of this problem.
Nothing ruins a beautiful sunny day like a meltdown (we’re not talking about ice cream). Staying hydrated can help you solve problems and find creative solutions. The brain fog associated with dehydration makes it more challenging to think through the crises.
When your body is at peace, your mind can rest as well. A peaceful night’s rest helps the body repair and rejuvenate for the next day. Proper hydration will help eliminate insomnia so you can get the rest you need to enjoy the sun the next day!
Leave a comment about how you keep your kids hydrated.
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