Drinking More Water During Hot Weather

You need to drink more water when you're in hot weather.

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When you spend time outside in hot weather, you probably start to feel thirsty in a fairly short time. That's a normal response and one you should pay close attention to—it means your body needs more water to deal with the heat. Learn why this happens, the symptoms of dehydration, and how to ensure you are drinking enough water when the temperatures rise.

Why Water Is Important

Your body functions best within a certain temperature range, and when you get too warm, it needs to cool off. There are a couple of ways your body accomplishes this cool-down. First, blood vessels dilate to increase blood flow to the skin. This allows excess heat to radiate away from your body.

Then, you start to sweat. Evaporation of the sweat cools the skin, which in turn helps to cool the whole body. But excessive sweating can lead to dehydration.

You sweat more when the temperature's hot, especially if you're working or exercising outdoors. Drinking water helps replenish the fluids lost by excessive sweating. If you don't get enough water, you may become dehydrated, and the combination of hot temperatures and dehydration can lead to serious heat-related illnesses.

Signs You Need More Water

For most people, thirst is a good indication that you need more water. Before you become dehydrated, you'll feel thirsty, and your mouth may feel dry or sticky.

After a while, you may also become lethargic and fuzzy-headed. Other signs include reduced urine output (and urine that is dark yellow in color). You might even notice your eyes look a bit sunken and feel dry.

Even a little dehydration can be a problem, so don't ignore those early signs. Mild dehydration reduces your ability to think clearly and your physical coordination.

How to Hydrate in Hot Weather

Start hydrating right away. It's easier to maintain your fluid balance if you start out in a well-hydrated state, so drink water before you exercise, work, or spend time outside when it's hot. Then continue to do so during and after your workout or work day.

  • Schedule regular beverage breaks and keep a water bottle handy so you can take frequent sips of water while you work or exercise.
  • Choose electrolyte-replacing drinks for maximum water absorption when you are exercising for more than an hour or when you are sweating excessively during exercise in hot weather.
  • Drink water after you've finished work or an exercise session.
  • Snack on fresh fruits that are rich in water, like berries, watermelon, peaches, and nectarines.
  • Don't overdo it. Drinking large amounts of plain water all at once can lead to ​hyponatremia or water toxicity. This can also affect long-distance runners during races who push too many fluids without also replacing electrolytes, such as sodium.

One way to gauge your hydration level is to look at the color of your urine. If you're well hydrated, it should be pale. Also, you'll be urinating more frequently.

4 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. United States National Library of Medicine. Dehydration.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heat stress: hydration.

  3. McDermott BP, Anderson SA, Armstrong LE, et al. National Athletic Trainers' Association position statement: Fluid replacement for the physically active. J Athl Train. 2017;(52)9:877-895. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-52.9.02

  4. Joo MA, Kim EY. Hyponatremia caused by excessive intake of water as a form of child abuse. Ann Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2013;(18)2:95-8. doi:10.6065/apem.2013.18.2.95

Additional Reading

By Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a former writer for Verywell Fit and Reuters Health. She's a healthcare journalist who writes about healthy eating and offers evidence-based advice for regular people.