Health Watch — Keeping Cool: The Right Liquids
Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.
This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about keeping cool in the summer heat. Previously, we discussed how important it is to stay hydrated, especially if you’re exercising or working outdoors in the summer heat. Dehydration and heat exhaustion can be quite serious.
The general guideline is that you need about six to eight glasses of fluids a day to stay hydrated — more if you’re sweating a lot. But you need the right kind of fluids. Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you should avoid beverages that don’t replenish body fluids. These include caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee or colas, as well as drinks that contain alcohol. Carbonated beverages also aren’t ideal. Water is usually the best option, but if you’re working or exercising for more than 90 minutes, you may need a sports drink to replenish sodium and other minerals you lose while sweating.
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