During the hot summer months, drinking enough water is important, whether you’re playing sports, traveling or just sitting in the sun. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And it helps the muscles work more efficiently. Dehydration can be a serious condition that can lead to problems ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.
The amount of water a person needs depends on the climate, clothing worn and exercise intensity and duration. A person who perspires heavily will need to drink more than someone who doesn’t. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may also mean you need to drink more water. And some medications can act as diuretics, causing the body to lose more fluid.
Thirst isn’t the best indicator that you need to drink. Pay attention to the color of your urine. Pale and clear means you’re well hydrated. If it’s dark, drink more fluids.