In a recent trip to the pool I noticed the change in my daughter's demeanor as we left. She complained of a headache and was not feeling well. Then it hit me; she was dehydrated. Although dehydration is common; it's accentuated by being at the pool. It's easy to think because you're in water that you won't get dehydrated, but being surrounded by water does not lessen the chances dehydration.
Dehydration is a concern in and out of the pool, and simple changes in the way you drink water can help you and your kids avoid dehydration at the pool.
Determine how much water to drink to avoid dehydration
There are several measurements to use to gauge your water intake. For example, drink eight, eight ounce glasses of water each day, or divide your body weight in half to get the amount of fluid ounces to stay hydrated. Regardless of the method used, be sure to drink water before, during and after you spend time at the pool.
Avoid dehydration by drinking water before arriving to the pool
There is a high percentage of people who are chronically dehydrated-- as many as 80% in the United States. However, you and your children do not have to be part of these statistics.
To avoid dehydration drink water several hours before arriving to the pool. If you plan to go to the pool, use the ACE Fitness guidelines for the amount of water to drink.
Avoid drinks such as coffee or soda
Although most people may not enjoy a cup of coffee at the pool it is one of my favorite times to drink a hot cup of coffee. Between the coffee and the heat I sweat more. Although, coffee is not harmful; caffeine is a natural diuretic, and drinking caffeinated drinks at the pool can add to your dehydration. Sugary drinks such as soda or juice can also dehydrate you so stick to water.
Rehydrate during the breaks
At our apartment complex pool, it's mandatory that anyone under 18 takes a 15 minute break every hour. This is the perfect time to re-hydrate by drinking water, or a sports drink. In most cases water is sufficient to rehydrate, but sports drinks work, also. Use water or ice to cut the sports drink if it has high sugar content.
Re-hydrating after the pool does not avoid dehydration
Drinking water after a hard day of swimming will not be sufficient to stay hydrated. In fact, you will be dehydrated if you waited until the end of the day to drink water.