Every summer, thousands of service members are treated for heat-related illness, such as dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion. Although mild dehydration may not normally cause issues, it will affect your work. Losing just four percent of your body weigh due to dehydration can decrease physical performance by 50 percent (which can happen in less than two hours when exercising/working in the heat!).

Whether you’re out in the field or enjoying a day at home, follow these tips from the CDC to ensure you stay hydrated and prevent heat-related illness:

  • When working or exercising outside in the heat, drink 1 cup (8 oz.) of water every 15 to 20 minutes.
  • If you’re outside and sweating for several hours, drink sports drinks with balanced electrolytes.
  • Eat foods with high water content.
  • Avoid sugary beverages, alcohol and drinks with high caffeine or sugar.
  • Schedule outside work and exercise during the coolest times of the day, such as morning or late evening.

If you start feeling any of the following, you may be dehydrated. If you notice any of these, start drinking water as your first line of defense.

  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Lack of tears
  • Dark and/or infrequent urination
  • Elevated heart rate, blood pressure and/or breathing

For more tips on beating the heat as you work, contact your local Fitness Center.