We’ve all heard how it is good to drink plenty of fluids each day, but why is this and how much should we drink?
We asked the ultimate expert! A Doctor, Disney Fan and Marathon Runner!
When we eat, much of our food produces waste products which become filtered out by our kidneys requiring fluids to produce urine as part of our body’s waste disposal process.
We also lose fluid in sweat and via our breath. Obviously in warmer climates, just as if we exercise and sweat more, we need to drink more to replace lost fluids.
An average adult in a temperate climate (such as Britain) will need 1.5 to 2 litres daily to maintain fluid balance.
(‘Fluid Balance’ simply means that your body has enough fluid to keep your blood pressure, urine concentration and hydration of our organs healthy).
Less fluid can cause concentrated urine and eventually the body has an inability to excrete all the waste in our bloodstream, resulting in symptoms such as fatigue, poor concentration, sagging skin, muscle tiredness. Generally speaking, the cells in different areas of our body no longer work effectively.
When on holiday in a hot climate such as Florida, the amount of fluid we loose can be several times higher than at home.
Particularly when you take into account the lower humidity, temperatures and activity levels we cope with at home in comparison to a hectic day in a hot theme park.
(Even waiting in line in the hot Florida sun increases our fluid requirements).
Unfortunately coffee, tea and fizzy drinks are diuretics and have high concentrations of chemicals and are not included in fluid balance and can even increase requirements.
(Diuretics cause the body to lose liquid faster than we would normally do so).
Add to this salty chips/fries with your lunch and you could easily become dehydrated just a few hours into the day, in turn raising your daily liquid requirements to 3 litres or more.
All this means that it would be very easy to become tired and irritable. All of which basically basically prevent you from fully enjoying your rather expensive vacation, just by not drinking enough water!
Starting with a couple of large glasses in the morning and regular sips from a bottle or water fountain while walking round the parks will quite easily be enough to keep you going.
Observing the colour of your urine is a good way to gauge your fluid balance – it should be as clear as possible and if it becomes dark yellow then increase your intake of clear fluids.
We also need to be aware of sun exposure
and use a high factor sun block.
Also cover up with a hat during the peak hours between 11 and 2 and spend some time in the shade over lunch as getting sunburnt can really spoil a holiday as well and risks health in later life.
Dr Graham Trory – GP and Florida enthusiast
Additional Tips from Totalorlando:
Eating fresh fruit and drinking products such as ‘Smart Water’ are healthy ways to keep electrolyte levels up. Smart Water is sold for just under $4 in most theme parks and fresh fruit can be found in at least one cart in most of the major parks.
While Smart Water is incredibly expensive in the theme parks, it might literally be just what you need if you feel the need to replace liquids efficiently.
Our advice however is as Dr. Trory suggests, drink plenty in the morning, include some fresh fruit or fresh juice for breakfast and top up throughout the day with regular water and more fresh pieces of fruit or juices.
Products such as Gatorade work well too, but always remember that these drinks are quite loaded with calories.
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