Hydration: Stay Cool While You Work
Lifeguarding requires spending long hours outside in the summer heat. This is why it’s ESPECIALLY important for guards to stay hydrated. Keeping hydration levels up should be a constant objective while on the job. Your health can be compromised if you neglect to hydrate regularly. Keep yourself hydrated so you can stay cool by the pool all summer long!
Water is your Best Friend!
By now, you’ve probably heard that the daily recommended water consumption is 8 glasses a day (8 ounces each). As a guard, this rule is even more important to follow! You may even have to consume more water since you spend long hours under the sun. The more, the merrier!
The key to staying hydrated is to sip early and often. Drink BEFORE you feel thirsty. Thirst is a sign of dehydration, so if you begin to feel thirsty, your body may already be dehydrated. Taking regular sips of water during your shift will keep your body happy and hydrated throughout the day.
If you’re not a big fan of plain water, try adding sliced lemons or limes for a healthy twist! You can also try sports drinks, like Gatorade or BodyArmor. These kinds of drinks are packed with electrolytes. Electrolytes help to quickly hydrate your body, so this can be a great option for lifeguards spending long hours in the summer heat. A natural alternative to sports drinks is coconut water. Coconut water is also extremely hydrating, and it’s made of simpler, more natural ingredients.
Hydrate with Foods
Drinking liquids isn’t the only way to stay hydrated! Eating water-rich foods throughout your shift will also help keep your hydration levels up!
Fruits are not only a yummy summer treat, but they can also help prevent dehydration! Try some of these water-rich fruits!
- Cucumbers (yes, cucumbers are a fruit!): 95% water content
- Watermelon: 92% water content
- Strawberries: 92% water content
- Cantaloupe: 90% water content
- Peaches: 89% water content
- Oranges: 87% water content
Tip: Try freezing fruit for a refreshing, hydrating treat to help you cool off during breaks!
Don’t forget about vegetables! These veggies are high in water content too!
- Iceberg lettuce: 96% water content
- Celery: 95% water content
- Cauliflower: 92% water content
- Spinach: 91% water content
- Broccoli: 89% water content
Tip: If you’re not a fan of plain veggies, try eating them with your favorite dip!
Recognize Signs of Dehydration
It’s important to constantly hydrate your body before you get dehydrated. However, it’s still a good idea to be able to recognize when your body is letting you know that your hydration levels are dangerously low. Typical signs of dehydration include dizziness, headaches, cramping, and sluggishness. If you experience any of these signs, hydrate IMMEDIATELY!!
Hydration is no joke! If you’re not hydrating regularly and properly, your health could be on the line. Drink water and eat fruits and veggies to stay cool by the pool! Learn about more water-rich foods here!