Michelle Rupp: Dr JJ Mayo joins us now and hi Dr. JJ.

JJ Mayo, PhD: What’s going on, Michelle? Excited to be back.

MR: So, we are talking about a topic I know that that you and I can talk about all day long and its hydration. What are some of the tips to just stay hydrated as as we are getting into the summer? And some may argue summer started way back in May with those first few days when it was so oppressively hot.

JM: Yeah, when we talk about hydration really we’re talking about water right? Water is what I like to call the most forgotten of our nutrients, but it is extremely important right? It’s the biggest component of our blood, it lubricates our joints. You know there’s just so many benefits of being hydrated and having water on board and we know we get water from you know from the foods from the fluids we drink mainly and then also the foods we eat. So, one of the biggest tips as you go through is as you’re drinking water is to try to get in what they say around 10-12 cups. Now what comes into what comes into the controversy is how you get your water right? So, one of the tips is like I have my little bottle of water, a lot of people don’t like to drink water and so what you might want to do is a tip is to throw in some lime or some a lemon to flavor it? Or you can buy flavored water. And so those are a couple of good tips and I know a lot of people like me, they’re addicted to more of these, but I still count this, I still count the fluid in your coffee, you know that I had this morning, right? My coffee this morning. Or even the coke zeros, diet cokes because they will help you with hydration.

MR: And you make up a good point. Because I wanted to ask are there certain fluids that don’t count towards the hydration? Or are there fluids that might be counterintuitive? They actually dehydrate us rather than hydrate us. That, that maybe we don’t want to include as part of those 8, 10, 12 cups a day.

JM: Yes, that’s a great question. And it is, you know, to a point, you know, coffee is not going to cause you to be dehydrated. The same thing with your, you know, the can cokes and drinks that you do. So just be aware that you could do too much, but it takes quite a bit for it to cause dehydrating effects. Another one that I know what I’m going to talk about is alcohol. If you drink too much alcohol, it obviously will have some dehydrating effect. So you just need to watch that.

MR: So, if we are exercising in the heat, Some, great ways to stay hydrated and maybe the better question is at what point do we need to start hydrating? Because by the time we’re thirsty, aren’t those horse is already out of the gate?

JM: Yeah, so that’s a good point. A lot of times when you’re exercising out in the heat, it depends on how long you’re exercising. You know, if you’re just going to like your gardening, you know, you’re just doing activity outside and you’re out there for maybe under an hour, you could probably get away with not doing any fluid. But over time, if you’re out there for several hours it can get, you know past you and you realize, oh my gosh, I’m starting to feel bad, I have a headache. Then you got to the point where you’re dehydrated, you know, too much. So having a, you know a lot of people do this, right, the big water jugs. If you can carry one of those around, if you’re outside and around working in the yard or you’re mowing uh you know, that’s one thing to do if you’re exercising, like you can always take a handheld bottle with you, if you’re going to be out there for a longer period of time. I don’t think you need it if it’s your out there for just an hour. But because what I would suggest if you’re doing that is to make sure you’re hydrated before you even start, that’s my biggest recommendation with about, you know, 2-3 cups of fluid before you even get out in the heat to exercise.

MR: So, you know summer’s just barely started. We still have all of July and all of August to go. So, at what point does water seem to no longer cut it? And we need to then begin supplementing with electrolytes or salt or something other than sugary sweet Gatorade.

JM: Yeah, I think if you’re, most of the time in our diets were getting plenty of salt, we’re getting plenty of sodium in the foods we eat. And it’s not really until you get into you know uh if you go for a long hike with your family out on the weekend and you’re out there for 34 or five hours then yes you would definitely want to maybe take something that has some electrolyte replacement in it. But unless it’s really an extended period of time you don’t necessarily need to worry about that. I know a lot of people really focus on that, but we have hormones in our body that really help control our fluid balance as well as our sodium balance. So, our hormones can take control just if you’re going to be out there for more than say two, maybe 34 hours then yes you want to maybe drink something that’s got some sodium in it. But other than that, I think you’re good.

MR: And I would think to a lot of it has to do on the timing. If you’re going to be out at 4:30, 5, 6 o’clock in the morning, that’s one thing. If you’re going to be out at 10, 11, 2 o’clock in the afternoon, that’s a that’s a totally different story.

JM: Yes. Yes, exactly. And one of the things I like to recommend to is if you’re really serious about your exercise is to weigh yourself before you go out and then weigh yourself after. And the general rule of thumb is that you replace, you know, every for every pound you lose you replace that with about two or three cups of fluid. So that’s that would be my recommendation, if you’re out there for a long period of time.

MR: That’s a good, very good rule of thumb. Let’s talk quickly about dehydration, but let’s talk about it in kids. Sometimes they can’t articulate what’s going on. It may present as a headache, or they may start getting real cranky or their diapers may not be as wet. Some of those tips.

JM: Yeah. So, there’s some signs of dehydration that might help. Uh The folks watching kind of pinpoint this is obviously if the urine is really dark in color. You know, if it’s if your urine is light or like, you know yet pale yellow, you’re fine. But if it’s like if it looks like coke zero or or iced tea then it’s probably not. So yeah, you can definitely tell dehydrated or if you haven’t gone to the bathroom like all day, like see my wife’s bad about this and she’ll go all day without drinking and I’m like how many, she didn’t even go to the bathroom, she didn’t even think about it. And she’s dehydrated. So, kids maybe we’ll do that as well, they’ll be out playing and going all day without drinking. So, that that’s one of the things that the frequency, how often are they going? They need to be, you know, if you’re adequately hydrated, you’re probably going every couple hours. Okay. Yeah, that would be a good recommendation.

MR: And just because you’re playing in the pool doesn’t mean you’re hydrating, right?

JM: Exactly. Yeah. Especially being out there in that sun it will definitely you’ll be sweating a lot more obviously than you would normally would and you don’t recognize it because you are playing in the water and or if you’re going to the lake or the river, whatever, you know, that’s another time when you may just you’re so busy and having fun enjoying yourself, you don’t think to do that. But those are some, especially the fluid, the urine color and the and the smell too is another one. If you smell like this strong ammonia smell, then there’s a good chance you’re probably dehydrated. And it’s not life threatening, it’s just something okay, we need to get fluid back on board.

MR: At which point go ahead and just start drinking some water and you’ll be good to go.

MR: Yep, okay. Dr Mayo? Anything else you’d like to add?

JM: No, I think that’s it, I think you know don’t because sometimes you can over hydrate so you just need to be careful with that if you find yourself dehydrated, don’t like panic, you just need to get you know that fluid back on board and I think you’ll be fine and drink to thirst. You know a lot of times like Gatorade and some of these people they want you to drink ahead of thirst, but I don’t think there’s a need to do that, just drink when you’re thirsty and that’s going to get you back on track.

MR: That was some old advice my mom used to give me, and it and it still holds true. Alright, Dr Mayo, thank you for joining us today.

JM: Thank you, Michelle. Have a great day.

MR: And thank you for joining us. We’ll see you back here next week for more AFMC TV.