Fall is around the corner but here in the Mid-south the heat is still on, with no sign of letting up. Doctors say as kids hit the practice fields and others labor outdoors, it’s important to prepare for the hot conditions and hydrate.
Dr. Jeff Mullins, a family physician with Methodist Medical Group, says you should “water load” the night before to prepare your body, “that way when you first step outside, you’re already well hydrated,” he explains.
He says electrolytes are important to replenish what’s lost, but make sure you follow a sports drink with water and avoid them if you’re not exerting a lot of energy.
“They have so much sodium in them. I just cringe when I’m driving down the road and I see teenagers standing at the corner drinking these fluid replacement drinks with potato chips and they get more sodium in that one serving than they need in a whole week,” says Dr. Mullins.
Around six glasses of water a day is ideal for our hydration health. “Have a 12-ounce glass of fluid with each meal and then get 12 ounces of fluid between breakfast and lunch and another 12 ounces between lunch and dinner,” suggests Dr. Mullins.
Sparkling water is a popular option, especially in various flavors. Dr. Mullins says whatever your preference is, still or fizzy, both options will keep you hydrated, as long as you’re drinking the same amount.
He explains, “because of the carbonation, it kind of fills your stomach a little bit and it may make you feel like you don’t have to drink as much.”
While both waters will provide the same hydration, Dr. Mullins says avoid the options that include artificial sweeteners as much as possible.