GUEST AUTHOR: PRUDENCE CASKEY – 4-H Agent in Santa Rosa County 

The hot, Florida summer is approaching, and we all need to make sure we focus on hydration in the heat.  Dehydration is very common in hot, humid environments. Many people do not drink the recommended amount of water.  Many of us have our coffee in the morning and unless we go out to lunch and someone gives us water, we seldom think about water during the day.  Another confusing concept is how much water we should drink.  Growing up we were told to get eight glasses of water a day. That is 64 ounces.  Let’s see if that adage still holds true today.

Animals are well aware of the need for water.
Photo: Prudence Caskey

How much water should I drink?

The best way to calculate how many ounces of water to drink is to multiply your weight by .67 or 67%.  For example, a person weighing 150 pounds would need 100½ ounces or a little over 12½ cups.  On the other hand, a person weighing 200 pounds would need 134 ounces or 16¾ cups.

 

Is that all the water I need?

No, as you sweat, you lose the water that you have already consumed.  If you are sweating for 30 minutes, you need to replenish your hydration with 12 additional ounces of fluid.

 

What fluid should I drink?

The main thing when it comes to hydration, is to remember, just because it is wet, does not mean you are being hydrated.  Different fluids are absorbed by our bodies differently.  Some alcoholic beverages remove hydration from our bodies as we drink them.  Below is an example of how our bodies absorb some common beverages:

 

  • Water absorbed at 100%
  • Sparkling Water absorbed at 100%
  • Skim Milk is absorbed at 90%
  • Buttermilk is absorbed at 90%
  • Whole Milk is absorbed at 80%
  • Apple Juice is absorbed at 88%
  • Decaffeinated Coffee is absorbed at 90%
  • Coffee is absorbed at 80%
  • Sports Drinks absorbed at 50%
  • Energy Drink absorbed at 40%
  • Wine is absorbed at negative 150%
  • Beer is absorbed at negative 60%
  • Sake is absorbed at negative 180%
  • Liquor is absorbed at negative 300%

 

This is a huge concept to grasp, if you plan on being out at the beach with your friends this summer.  With this example, a well-hydrated 150-pound person consumes the required 100½ ounces of fluid.  Then at a gathering, they have three, glasses of wine.  The standard five ounces per glass would mean they have removed 22½ ounces from their hydration after drinking only 15 ounces of wine.  Be cognoscente of what you add to your coolers this year.

 

What are the signs of dehydration?

There are many signs our bodies will give us to signal dehydration.  Headache, nausea, and muscle pains are common.  However, the most common sign of dehydration is thirst.  That’s right, if you are thirsty, it is your body’s way of letting you know you need fluids.  Just be careful which fluids you chose this summer when you are out and enjoying the Florida sun.

 

Learn more at:  https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/FY1409

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