Stay hydrated as summer like heat returns to the Carolinas

The heat and the humidity will be packing a punch for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Many people will head outdoors to pools, lakes and even Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Coca-Cola 600.

“It’s important to hydrate proactively to drink fluids before you get thirsty,” said Dr. Stephen Lingo who practices internal medicine with Atrium Health.

Water is your best choice but just how much should you be drinking?

“Your urine is a good gauge if you’re drinking enough water,” said Dr. Lingo. If your urine is dark then you’re not getting enough. Because people range in age and size he says a reasonable rule of thumb is six to eight glasses.

If you feel overheated it’s important to cool down. Find shade and try to cool your body temperature. If you are around other people pay attention to symptoms and signs they may be dealing with something more serious like heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.

Some of those symptoms include warm, red skin, hallucinations, confusion, loss of consciousness, muscle cramping.

Before you head outside be sure to wear light colored clothing and lather on the sunscreen to protect your skin. Also, choose your beverages wisely.

“Alcohol and caffeine can give people worsening signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. They are not your friends,” said Dr. Lingo.

Young children, elderly adults along with people who are overweight can be more likely to overheat easily.