Yes, it has been hot.
A big thank you to everyone who has ventured out in the hot weather, and I am delighted to see everyone has been bringing bottles of water with them.
Keeping hydrated is important and the first step to preventing dehydration when you exercise is to make sure you are well-hydrated before you start exercising. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking about a pint of fluid approximately two hours before exercise to help ensure adequate hydration and to allow time to excrete excess water. Avoid beverages containing alcohol and caffeine, as they have a diuretic effect.
The amount of fluid that you should drink depends on how much fluid you have lost and how quickly fluid empties from your stomach. If you drink more than can empty from your stomach, the excess fluid will just slosh around uncomfortably. The easy way to tell if you are dehydrated is to check the colour of your urine, it should be pale yellow. If it's darker than that, you need to drink a bit more.
Everyone agrees that more salt is lost through exercise- induced sweating than by just sitting in a hot environment. But water or cold drinks might not have enough salt in them which may result in you not having enough sodium in your blood, a condition known as Hyponatremia. This can cause nausea, lack of appetite, vomiting, and headaches and in serious cases it can cause seizures, a coma, or even death. Hyponatremia is not a disease. It is a problem caused by something else, such as medicines or exercising for a long time in hot weather. You can get hyponatremia if you lose a lot of fluids and then you drink a lot of water or other liquids that don't have much sodium. You can also get it if you have kidney, liver, heart, or other health problems.
When going out and about choose loose, light coloured clothes, be sensible and do not go out and exercise in the extreme heat or at the time of the day when the sun is at its hottest. When you have finished exercising in the hot weather be sure to spend the re-hydrating in a cool environment, just sit quietly with a drink so your body will return to its normal body temperature and allow the re-hydration of the blood and cells to occur.
What ever exercise or physical activity you do the advice seems to be to make sure you have a drink before hand and a drink afterwards. Drink so your thirst is quenched - did you know that a drink of water can be very satisfying, but after the thirst has been quenched, drinking more can be unpleasant.