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VA Maryland Health Care System's Summer Health Tips


-   Thirst: Did you know that when you’re thirsty, your body is already dehydrated?
-   Urine color: The color of your urine tends to be the best gauge of your hydration status. A clear to light yellow color usually indicates that you're well hydrated, while a dark yellow or amber color is a good predictor of dehydration.
-   Dry or sticky mouth
-   Headache
-   Dizziness/lightheadedness
-   Weakness
-   Muscle cramps
-   Feeling of tiredness

Note: Feeling any of the above symptoms means you're already dehydrated, so don't wait for the signs to hydrate! Experiencing severe dehydration signs such as vomiting, low blood pressure, sunken eyes, fever, extreme thirst, little or no urination or lack of sweating may require medical assistance.

What should I hydrate with?

-   Water: The beverage of choice if you are outside sweating for less than 60 minutes.
-   Sports Drinks: If you are sweating for more than 60 minutes you may require a sports drink to replenish electrolytes. However, check with your doctor to see if this is appropriate for you, as some electrolytes can be detrimental to people with certain medical conditions.
-   Food: Believe it or not, establishing a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables that have a high fluid content also contributes to about 20% of your body’s fluids (the remaining 80% is from beverages). This may include lettuce, watermelon, broccoli, grapefruit and apples, just to name a few.

What should I avoid?

-   Caffeine: Caffeinated beverages like soda, coffee or tea, may have a mild diuretic effect, depending on the caffeine level.
-   Alcohol: It is also smart to avoid alcoholic beverages which h

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