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How much water do I need to drink with the Florida heat?

"Usually I recommend that my patients build in about a cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes."

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Spoiler alert as you're getting dressed this morning — it's hot! You already know lightweight clothes, air conditioning, and shade are all good ways to beat the heat but don’t skimp on hydration.

Tara Calise, a nurse practitioner with WellMed at Land O’ Lakes, says to keep water nearby and drink more than you may think.

"Usually I recommend that my patients build in about a cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes if they're doing a lot of activity throughout the day. People garden, people do their lawn work, people sometimes have jobs that are outdoors or people are in and out of buildings all day with the work that they're doing," she said. 

Calise says that may seem like a lot but we’re constantly losing water in the heat, “just through our breathing plus we're perspiring." She says by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

So, think before, during and after. Calise says drink water before you head out, say for instance to the garden. Then continue to drink every 10 minutes while you’re working in the yard, and recover with it when you head back inside. She says water is best, you’ll likely want to avoid energy drinks that can contain more caffeine than you need.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay
The recommended cups of water per day for children, teens and adults.

Pay close attention to how you’re body is responding to the heat. If you’re feeling dizzy or have a headache, get to a cool spot quickly. If you stop sweating altogether, that’s an emergency and you’ll need to seek medical care.

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