Texas is no stranger to the summer heat. In fact, some Texas counties counted more than 180 hospitalizations in due to dehydration in 2011. It can sometimes be hard to remember to take frequent breaks and stay hydrated, especially when you’re wrapped up in yard work or an exciting outdoor home improvement project.
Thankfully, dehydration is completely preventable. Here are some signs you’re dehydrated and need to slow down and replenish your fluids.
1. Dry Mouth: A dry, sticky mouth is often the first sign you’re becoming dehydrated. If you find your mouth is dry, be sure to drink plenty of water to head off the effects of dehydration early. In addition to (but not instead of!) drinking water, you can also drink something like Gatorade, Pedialyte or coconut water, which will replenish your electrolytes and aid in water retention.
2. Headache: When your body loses water, it also loses important elements your body needs to function, like sodium and potassium. Believe it or not, the loss of those minerals can actually change the chemistry of your blood. Your brain can easily register that change and trigger a painful headache.
3. Dizziness: Dehydration causes water to leave your blood as well as your body, and the subsequent drop in blood volume and pressure can cause dizziness and lightheadedness.
4. Dark Colored Urine: It’s perhaps not the most pleasant way to find out that you’re dehydrated, but the color of your urine is an important sign nonetheless. When your system is low on water, your urine becomes concentrated and turns a dark or amber color.
5. Dry Skin: Your skin can actually lose elasticity due to dehydration. Try pinching the back of your hand—if it takes more than a second or two to return to normal, you may be very dehydrated.
If you’re planning any digging projects this summer, make sure to stay well-hydrated and call Texas811 before you dig!