Staying Hydrated This Summer

As the summer heat intensifies, it’s increasingly important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Whether you’re relaxing on the beach, tending to your summer garden or working away in an office, staying hydrated helps ensure your body can function properly.

Dehydration can cause weakness, fainting and if not dealt with properly, can have some serious health implications. If that’s not reason enough to get your daily dose of H2O, a recent article in NPR references a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine that suggests hydration may play a role in weight management.

Here are some tips and tricks to staying hydrated, and healthy, this summer:

1.       Although there’s no magic number, the Institute of Medicine recommends women drink 2.7 liters. For men, that number is roughly 3.7 liters of fluids a day.

2.       Getting into the habit of carrying a water bottle wherever you go will help you remember to drink water throughout the day. If constantly purchasing plastic water bottles sounds wasteful, consider a reusable, eco-friendly, water bottle.

3.       Set a timer to refill your water bottle. Using a timer as a reminder that your water bottle needs filled will help create a routine, and eventually you won’t need the timer anymore.

4.       Snack on fruits that are high in fluids. Fruits like watermelon, strawberries and grapefruits hydrate you better than others, and they’re perfect snacks to enjoy on a hot summer day.

Those Maddening Mosquito Bites

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Mosquitos are a common annoyance during warm weather. As you’ve certainly experienced firsthand, their bites can cause irritation, swelling and redness. For most of us, the bump and the pain of the bite can be tolerated, but the incessant itch is nearly unbearable.

After being feasted on basically every evening during summer, many people begin to wonder: why do mosquito bites itch in the first place?

First of all, it’s important to note that not all mosquitos are bad! Male mosquitos only feast on water and nectar from plants, rendering them basically harmless to humans.

On the other hand, female mosquitos are out for blood. Females are constantly searching for blood vessels on humans and animals. When they find one, they suck out some blood, leaving behind a little saliva, which serves as an anticoagulant and allows them to feast more efficiently.

Our body then produces histamines as a natural immune response to the foreign mosquito saliva, which creates the itch we know all too well.

The good news for some people is that it is possible to develop an immunity to the itch. There are some people who have been bitten so often, they develop a tolerance for the itchy bites.

However, for the rest of us mosquito magnets, there are alternative solutions for itch relief! Calamine lotion and hydrocortisone cream are both anti-histamines that provide relief from itching. recommends using an ice pack, ice cubes, or a cool bath without soap to help relieve itchy symptoms as well.