Extreme temperatures are ba-a-a-ck! Las Vegas has hit 109; Phoenix, 110; Redding, Calif., 112. But it doesn't have to get that hot to make you more dehydrated than Ken Venturi at the 1964 U.S. Open. (He was warned by clubhouse doctors not to return to the course on that Sunday afternoon, but he did anyway and won the golf tournament.)
Your body needs a steady supply of water to function. How much? Divide your weight (in pounds) by two. That's your basic daily need for ounces of water. But if you're out in the hot sun, the amount can skyrocket.
And if you don't get extra ounces of H2O you can find yourself in serious trouble. Sweat out 2 percent of your stored water, and your ability to exercise or do yardwork can fall by 30 percent to 50 percent. Lose 10 percent to 15 percent, and you risk heatstroke - a potentially life-threatening condition that causes low and high blood pressure and heartbeat irregularities.
So, if you work or play in the intense heat, here's how to stay safe:
- Drink 16 ounces of water before going outside. Then, if you're sweating heavily, drink 16 to 32 ounces of cool fluids each hour.
- Don't drink alcohol or sugary beverages; these cause you to lose more fluid.
- Replace lost salts and minerals with bananas, citrus fruits, a multivitamin and electrolyte drinks. We suggest no more than 16 ounces of electrolyte drinks an hour; make the rest water.
- Take regular cool-down breaks in air conditioning. And slather on the sunscreen (SPF 30); a burn amps up the heat risks!
© King Features Syndicate