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It’s important to stay hydrated in this horrible Missouri heat.

It’s a scorcher here in Missouri. I’m writing this article around 6:30 p.m., and the real feel here is still 101 degrees outside. These high temperatures are not only miserable, but they are dangerous as well.

While I work in an air-conditioned office, my coworkers on our Weatherization crews work outside in all weather. Missouri summers are notoriously humid, which increases the feel of the heat on the human body. Our crews take water jugs to the job sites with them and make certain they drink plenty of cold water. Most of them also take sports drinks with them, as well.

It’s very important for our crew members to stay hydrated, especially in the summertime when temperatures soar well above 100 degrees. They work outside for 10 hours a day performing strenuous tasks in order to make our clients’ homes safer and more energy efficient. They must stay healthy, or they can’t help anyone.

Working outside in the heat raises their body temperatures. Drinking ice water helps lower body temperature and is the best way to avoid dehydration and other heat-related maladies such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Ice water is absorbed by the body faster than warm water, thereby reducing dehydration more efficiently.

Ice water has many health benefits in addition to cooling core body temperature and alleviating dehydration. According to the article, 7 Health Benefits to Ice Cold Water, ice water has been shown to improve energy levels, enhance mood, reduce pain, and boost immune function among other things.

It’s extremely important for those folks who spend a lot of time in the heat to stay hydrated. Sports drinks with electrolytes are great, but most of them contain a lot of sugar. There are a few sugar-free sports drinks with electrolytes on the market such as Propel and Powerade Zero, but you really have to look for them. If someone is sweating profusely due to exercise or heat, I think it’s a good idea to consume a healthy sports drink, but drink mostly water.

I’ve never  been a sports drink fan. Personally, I drink ice water and iced herbal tea to stay hydrated. I drink all of my tea unsweetened, whether it’s hot or cold. My favorite is iced rooibos tea, which I drink nearly every day. Also known as red tea, rooibos is high in antioxidants and contains no caffeine, which makes it perfect for afternoons and evenings. I enjoy the flavor and find it to be quite refreshing.

Whatever you choose to drink to take care of yourself during these horribly hot days, stay safe and remember to cool down as often as possible. No one needs to be dehydrated or suffer heat exhaustion.

PLEASE NOTE: I’m not a doctor or health professional of any sort. The above statements are based upon my research and Ozarks-borne common sense. Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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