6 Tips to Keep You Hydrated and Cool in the Heat – Fresno State News | Hot Mobile Press

Fresno is hot—really hot.

The daytime temperature reached triple digits every day except one between July 11 and August 3. Temperatures peaked at 110 degrees on July 17, according to the National Weather Service. August 1st cooled slightly to a high of 98.

When Fresno gets hot, people try to cool off by going to a pool, going to a water park, driving to the lake, or to the Central Coast for a cool ocean breeze. Those who cannot walk far seek relief in air-conditioned movie theaters, shopping malls, or other public spaces. The city of Fresno has opened refrigeration centers for those who don’t have air conditioning.

But what happens when you can’t beat the heat?

Exposure to intense heat can cause a person’s body temperature to rise rapidly, which can lead to fatigue and convulsions, dizziness, seizures and coma, headaches, and profuse sweating California Department of Health.

But the biggest threat to a person’s health can be heat stroke, which can lead to death, said Dr. Scott Sailor, Professor of Kinesiology at the College of Health and Human Services in Fresno State. He has several years of experience working with soccer players during the summer months.

Heat stroke can damage the kidneys, liver, and other organs. If a person shows such symptoms, call 911 or cool them down in a cold water bath or shower, Sailor said.

When working in the heat or participating in outdoor activities, people should take breaks every 10 to 15 minutes to get out of the sun and drink water to stay hydrated, depending on the intensity of the activity. If you’re exhausted, find a shady place to cool off, said Sailor.

To stay safe during the summer heat, Sailor has six tips for staying hydrated and cool in hot weather.

  1. Drink lots of fluids. Sailor recommends drinking eight cups of cool water or sports drinks daily. If you don’t like either, then drink something water-based like cold green tea or fruit drinks. Avoid caffeine, alcohol or hot drinks and sugary liquids.
  2. Eat foods high in water. Eating out is a great way to stay hydrated with foods that contain water, like fruits and vegetables. “It makes sure you’re consuming foods that also contribute to your hydration.” It’s not just about drinking water or electrolytes,” Sailor said. One might consider weighing oneself to see if there is any noticeable weight loss during a series of hot days. “For example, if you weighed yourself one day and come in the next day and are three or four pounds lighter, that probably tells you that you need to consume almost three or four pounds of fluids to maintain your hydration level,” he said.
  3. Wear light clothing. Light-colored clothing or short-sleeved shirts will help cool off from the heat. Heavy, dark clothing can cause you to absorb light, causing you to heat up more. Those who work outside may want to wear long sleeves and pants made of cotton or a breathable fabric. Fabrics like this allow the sweat that builds up to evaporate and cool us down, Sailor said.
  4. Go outside in the morning or evening. The best time to go outside is in the morning or evening because it’s cooler. If you plan on participating in outdoor activities or working outside, adapt to the heat daily, Sailor said. “Over a period of a week or two, we have to spend increasing amounts of time outside in the heat,” Sailor said. “Once we do that, our body is primed for the heat.” But people have to pace themselves and take a break when it’s too hot.
  5. Go somewhere that has air conditioning. Staying indoors can help people cool off from the heat with air conditioning. If you don’t have air conditioning, you can go to a cooling center. The city of Fresno, the city of Clovis, and other communities have many locations. When you get into a hot car, first open the windows for a few minutes. Turn on the air conditioning with the windows open to allow the hot air to escape. Close the windows after the hot air has been released. Sailor recommends parking in the shade and installing a screen on the front window to keep the car from getting too hot.
  6. Got a buddy Have a buddy system to mentor each other when active in the heat. Sailor said the buddy system is great for those who work outside or participate in outdoor activities. Check each other out. If you experience signs of heat issues, such as dizziness, stumbling, or confusion, get out of the heat and call 911.

(Written by Ramon Castaños, Student Intern at University Communications)

Leave a Comment