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BAM! Body and Mind

How to keep your cool in steamy situations. You just spent a hot afternoon playing ball with your friends or running around the park with your dog. Bet you were pretty sweaty and thirsty when you finished playing — maybe even thirsty enough to guzzle an entire gallon of water. That is dehydration.

Dehydration means that your body is losing more fluids than it takes in — and that's not good! Don't depend on your thirst to tell you whether or not your body needs a refill. Make sure you drink water a few hours before gearing up for physical activities, and keep drinking after you're done — be smart and stay hydrated!

1Steamy Situation
When your body temperature gets hotter than normal — 98.6 degrees — your brain sends out a distress signal that causes you to sweat, which cools you down. Think of it this way — your body, like an air conditioner, has an internal thermostat that helps control its temperature. Whenever your body heats up from physical activity or the hot weather outside, your internal air conditioner turns on and you begin to sweat. And remember, now that your air conditioner is using its coolant (your sweat), it is important to refill the tank — by drinking lots of H2O.

2All Systems Go
Ever wonder what really happens inside your body to make you sweat? Picture this...when your temperature rises, tiny blood vessels close to your skin open up. This allows your blood to carry the heat in your body away from your hard-working muscles to get closer to the skin. Then, water (sweat) escapes through your sweat glands and onto your skin. When air blows over your wet skin, the sweat evaporates (dries up) and cools your body down. But, on really hot, humid days, there is so much moisture in the air that it can't absorb the sweat from your body. So, to keep your body cool, drink plenty of water, use a fan, or take a dip in the pool.

3H2O — Guzzle, Gulp, and Chug
Drinking water before, during, and after physical activity is one way to keep your body's air conditioner working. Keep these tips in mind to help your body stay cool:

  • Top off your tank a few hours before you hit the court, the field, or your own backyard by drinking about two cups of cold water.
  • Keep a water bottle handy to guzzle during water breaks, halftime, or time outs. Try to drink about 10 ounces — that's about 10 large gulps from your water bottle — every 15-20 minutes.

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Follow Secret Agent Kid X and the Action Hero Alliance as they overcome obstacles to save the world from evil mastermind Lethargo and his ultimate weapon, the Energy Vacuum!

Link cdc.gov/bam