Skip to content

Stay Hydrated to Avoid Injuries This Summer

In the summertime, the days are long and hot and packed with loads of fun. Pool parties, BBQs, world travels, hikes, and other outdoor activities fill our free time and are a great way to escape the hard work days and bond with friends and family. But the fun can turn into pain and misery rather quickly if you aren’t paying close attention to your water intake. Apart from causing syncope, heat exhaustion, and heat strokes, dehydration is also the most common cause of injury during the summer and it can bring excruciating pain.

Maintaining proper fluid levels when active or exposed to the sun for many hours, is vital for your body to function properly. Proper hydration is not just getting water into the body but inside the cells. On average, about 60% of the human body is made up of water and it helps transport nutrients to the cells, as well as transport waste and toxins out of the body. For your muscles to be able to flex and relax properly, they need water and electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride. If they are deprived of these nutrients, your muscles can cramp up or strain, causing immense amounts of pain.

Being dehydrated and lacking important electrolytes can also cause more serious damage such as cartilage wear and friction in the joints. Water is the primary component of cartilage and also plays a crucial role in transporting essential nutrients that allow it to repair itself. Without enough water, the cartilage in your joints is unable to maintain its cushion and is also unable to generate new cells to repair itself, causing painful tears, achy or creaky joints, and potentially osteoarthritis (the most common form of arthritis).

To avoid these injuries and possible long-term damage to your muscles and joints, it is crucial to stay hydrated and replenish electrolytes, especially when it is hot or you are exerting yourself physically. Ideally, you should drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 100 pounds that’s roughly 50 ounces (or six 8 ounce glasses) of water a day. If you are working out or sweating it is important to increase that amount. It is important to realize that all liquids are not equal and tea, coffee or other beverages could actually cause you to get dehydrated faster. Another thing to consider is electrolyte imbalance that often takes place with dehydration, can be a big factor when sweating because you tend to lose vital electrolytes and minerals through perspiration. It is helpful to take a good quality electrolyte product if this is the case. I’m not a big fan of the Powerade and Gatorade drinks because they tend to have unnecessary sugars and ingredients that aren’t all that healthy. Coconut water is a good natural alternative and there are other electrolyte powders and tablets that you can take that don’t have the sugars and artificial sweeteners, such as ElectroMix by Emergen-C. 

When you are engaged in activities or drinking other beverages, it is easy to get carried away and forget to drink water but it is so important for avoiding some serious health issues. I have found that the easiest way to ensure I am getting enough water is to fill up a reusable water bottle and take it anywhere I go. This way it is easily accessible and I know exactly how much I am drinking in a day, and if I ever want to spice it up a bit I can add lemons, cucumbers, or mint for more flavor.  Even if you aren’t incredibly thirsty, it is important to drink fluids because if you wait until your mouth feels dry and start to crave water, it means you are already dehydrated.

If you have any further questions relating to injury prevention, dehydration, or electrolyte imbalance please feel free to contact me, and I will hopefully get those answered. Talking to a healthcare professional can help to determine whether you are taking the right steps to support your body in ways that match your lifestyle and levels of activity. If you are worried that you might have an injury related to dehydration, I would be happy to take a look and see if I can help you relieve your pain and find ways to prevent such injuries in the future.


Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.