You don't need me to tell you it's getting hot. It's Tennessee in the summer. That's pretty standard.
What you may not realize is at any given moment, especially this time of the year, you may be dehydrated. If severe enough, you can end up in the hospital, or worse, die.
Data from water.usgs.gov shows that roughly 60 percent of the human body is made up of water. Dehydration happens when you've lost too much water in your body without replacing it.
When our bodies get hot, we sweat. Sweat regulates our temperature through evaporational cooling. No water = no cooling mechanism = big problems.
So what are the obvious signs of dehydration?
1.) You're thirsty
2.) You have a headache
3.) You're dizzy
4.) You're nauseated
5.) Your urine is dark yellow
6.) Muscle cramps
The not so obvious signs?
1.) Bad breath
2.) Dry skin
3.) You feel lethargic
4.) Sudden food cravings
5.) You feel cranky
6.) You're constipated
So how much water should you be drinking? A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces of water. So, a 130 lb. woman should drink at least 65 ounces each day. Working or exercising outside? Drink more. The American College of Sports Medicine suggests drinking an additional 12 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of strenuous activity.
Final words of water wisdom:
• Drink water before you feel thirsty.
• Drink water as soon as you wake up in the morning. I will usually chug 16 ounces of water after the alarm goes off. Not only will it rehydrate you after several hours of sleep, but it will flush out toxins and speed up your metabolism.
• Don't think soda, juice, coffee or alcohol is going to help you stay hydrated.
• Don't like the taste of water? Try sparkling water. The fizz reminds me of soda. Just make sure it doesn't have added sweeteners. My favorite are flavored sparking waters. Cucumbers, watermelon, celery, cantaloupe, strawberries and bell peppers also have a high water-content, so eat up! They'll also help with hydration through the day.