Extension Review by Virginia Delvaux The 2002 Clay County Fair is one for the history books, but it was definitely a hot one for humans and animals alike. While our weather did not cooperate and may have kept some people home from the fair, the brave souls that ventured out had plenty to see and do. A special thank you goes to all who helped with or sponsored our 4-H and open class fair activities.
The SDSU Extension Nutrition Specialist shared with us a new Extension Extra fact sheet on the importance of drinking water. As we have been experiencing hot summer temperatures, it becomes very important for all ages to replenish the body fluids since our bodies can not store an extra supply of water. On the average we lose 2 1/2 quarts of water a day. On a hot humid day with added physical activity fluid loss is much higher. Everyone needs between 8 to 12 cups of water a day. This amount should be increased when ever you experience one of the following: extreme hot temperatures, strenuous work or exercise, extended exposure to heated or recirculated air, illness, or high fiber diets.
Thirst is not a foolproof signal for needing water particularly with children or elderly, during illness, hot weather or strenuous activity. Thirst is a symptom of dehydration. Waiting until you are thirsty may be too late. Caffeinated beverages and alcoholic beverages act as a diuretic, so they are not a good substitute for water.
Heat stroke caused by severe dehydration ranks second among the reported cases of death among high school athletes. A 150-pound athlete can loose 1 1/2 quarts of water in one hour when competing. To replenish this loss, one needs to consume six 8-ounce glasses of water. Competing athletes should drink water before, during and after physical activity. And in hot weather athletes needs 4 to 8 ounces of liquids every 15 to 20 minutes. Fluids are needed for energy production and blood volume.
Some ways you can increase water intake is to fill a half-gallon jug with water and drink the entire jug each day. The water can be used in tea, lemonade, soups, etc. Include foods and beverages high in water at mealtime. Travel with a supply of bottled water. Take water breaks, or take a drink of water every time you walk by a water fountain. If you would like a copy of this Extension Extra contact the Clay County Extension Office.