When you’re out making Disney memories, healthy hydration might be the last thing on your mind. But as you spend long, busy days at the theme parks, it’s important to plan ahead, take breaks, and reach for snacks and drinks that will provide the fuel your family needs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men should aim for 125 ounces (about 16 cups) of water a day from food and liquids. Women should get 91 ounces (about 11 cups). However, you may need even more when you’re exercising or it’s hot outside. Here’s what you should know about staying hydrated during your vacation.
The Florida humidity (especially in summer) may make you sweat considerably more than you’re used to, so it's important to stay properly hydrated to avoid the risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your time spent in the sun.
If you don’t get enough water throughout the day:
- You may experience constipation. Your body needs water to eliminate waste through bowel movements. Drinking enough reduces your risk of developing constipation.
- You’ll find it more difficult to concentrate. Dehydration affects your ability to think and reason.
- You’ll be at a higher risk for developing kidney stones. Your body’s kidneys need sufficient water to function properly.
- You’re more likely to overheat. Water helps your body maintain a normal temperature.
How to Stay Hydrated On-the-Go
Drink plenty of water while you’re in the parks and avoid sugary, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Electrolyte sports drinks may be helpful, but still choose water whenever possible. Water not only keeps your mind sharp and your systems running smoothly, it helps maintain your body temperature.
Packing fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks is a great way to help keep everyone hydrated throughout the day. Cucumbers, watermelon, pineapple, tomatoes and celery are some options that contain 85 percent water or more.
Keep an eye out for some key signs that you or a family member may be becoming dehydrated; dizziness, flushing and weakness are a few of the early symptoms. As dehydration worsens, vomiting and changes in consciousness can occur.
If you notice symptoms, remove yourself or your loved one from exposure to the heat. Lie back in a shaded or air-conditioned area, drink lots of fluids and seek first aid care in the park. If you have concerns that it's not improving (or that another condition could be causing the symptoms), a trip to the nearest emergency department may be necessary.
By planning ahead and taking a few precautions, we hope you'll be able to enjoy the fun, safe and relaxing Disney getaway you and your family deserve.