As soon as the mercury begins to rise above usual levels warnings are issued about heatwaves but why are they dangerous and how can you stay hydrated?
The start of summer 2019 has seen parts of Europe sweltering in a heatwave while 2018 saw a prolonged period of unusually high temperatures in the UK. With climate change becoming an increasing problem, scientists are warning that we should expect more heatwaves to come.
During a heatwave, as well as trying to stay cool wherever possible, members of the public are also advised to stay hydrated to avoid the ill effects of the excess heat.
Why is it important to stay hydrated in a heatwave?
Hydration is important every day of the year as water provides our bodies with the means to transport blood and to support the function of major organs such as the heart and brain. As the body loses fluids they need to be replaced by drinking more water to avoid dehydration. In hot weather, this is even more important as increased sweating means more fluid is lost. Plus, hydration in a heatwave also serves to help cool the body and regulate temperature.
The main health concern when there is a heatwave is heatstroke. Initial symptoms may prove to be heat exhaustion, which can be treated if fast action is taken to cool the person down – including drinking plenty of water. If this develops into heatstroke emergency treatment is absolutely necessary.
How can drinking water help in a heatwave?
Heatstroke is caused when the body overheats, which makes staying cool in a heatwave important – as difficult as this may be.
Sweating is the body’s natural response to heat as it self-cools. As fluids are lost through sweating it is important to stay hydrated to help regulate your temperature – and to avoid dehydration.
Dehydration and excessive heat are a lethal combination and the effects on your body should not be underestimated. In fact, dehydration can be a factor in heatstroke. To stay safe in a heatwave wear loose-fitting clothing, seek shade and cool areas and be careful when exercising – and, of course, drink plenty of water.
Tips to stay hydrated in a heatwave:
- Always carry a bottle of drinking water with you
- Sip water regularly throughout the day to maintain fluids
- Use an insulated reusable bottle to enjoy cool water on the go
- Always drink water with meals
- Enjoy ice-lollies made with water and juice
- Avoid alcohol
Filtered tap water tastes great and is an excellent way to get all the family drinking more water if you are concerned about hydration.
Doulton water filters remove 99.99%+ of common contaminants, including chlorine, to provide clean, tasty water on tap. Fill up and take a bottle with you to make sure you have access to water when out and about.