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Dehydration - Prevention

The following tips may help you prevent dehydration.

  • Drink plenty of water before, while, and after you are active. This is very important when it's hot out and when you do intense exercise. You can drink water or rehydration drinks.
    • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
    • Take a container of water or sports drink with you when you exercise, and try to drink at least every 15 to 20 minutes.
    • Use a sports drink if you will be exercising for longer than 1 hour.
  • Encourage your child to drink extra fluids or suck on flavored ice pops, such as Popsicles. Children ages 4 to 10 should drink at least 6 to 10 glasses of liquids to replace lost fluids.
  • Do not drink coffee, colas, or other drinks that contain caffeine. They increase urine output and make you dehydrate faster.
  • Avoid high-protein diets. If you are on a high-protein diet, make sure that you drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water each day.
  • Avoid alcohol, including beer and wine. They increase dehydration and make it hard to make good decisions.
  • Do not take salt tablets. Most people get plenty of salt in their diets. Use a sports drink if you are worried about replacing minerals lost through sweating.
  • Stop working outdoors or exercising if you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or very tired.
  • Wear one layer of lightweight, light-colored clothing when you are working or exercising outdoors. Change into dry clothing as soon as you can if your clothes get soaked with sweat. Never exercise in a rubber suit.

Prompt home treatment for diarrhea, vomiting, or fever will help prevent dehydration.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 15, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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