High Desert Hydration

Here we are in the middle of the hot Sedona summer months when the early mornings and evenings beckon us to get outside and get busy! I know many of you are also active all year long hiking, biking, climbing, taking care of the yard, golfing, playing tennis and even walking the dog.

High Desert HydrationI hope you think carefully about your water intake as you spend time outside. I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of adequate water; you notice I said water, not iced tea or coffee.

Our body is around 60% water and it requires water for every function it performs. An easy calculation is that a resting body needs half its weight in water each day. As you add activity or heat, increase the amount.

Everyone knows about this topic and has heard countless warnings so why are there still so many cases of hyperthermia (elevated body temperature that occurs when a body produces or absorbs more heat than it dissipates)? Because the dry Southwest climate can take you by surprise with the intensity of the heat and the suns rays, even if you live here and tend to spend a lot of time outdoors.

Here are a few tips to help you stay well hydrated:

  • Pre-hydrate. If you know you are going out, begin sipping water as soon as you wake up and continue until you leave the house or the car.
  • Bring plenty of water with you, at least 20 ounces per person per hour and bring extra to keep nearby just in case. You may also want to replenish electrolytes as you go. Any hiking or health store can help you choose.
  • If you are leaving water in the car or out in the heat, make sure it’s not in a plastic container. Yes plastics of all kinds leach estrogenic chemicals and there are better alternatives. I recommend stainless steel or glass where possible. These are not only better for you but also better for the planet.Hydration Urine Chart
  • You can still drink your favorite beverages of course (morning tea or coffee, juices and soft drinks, wine or beer) but know that these fluids are not as effective at hydration as plain water. Many foods also contain water.
  • Rehydrate. Keep drinking after your activity is finished to replace what your body has expended.
  • Check your pee regularly to make sure it is pale green or pale yellow. Anything darker than this means your kidneys are working too hard with inadequate amounts of water.

So raise a glass (of water) often to keep yourself topped up and feeling fine!