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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Drinking enough water is the key to staying healthy in the intense heat, doctors say. However, there can be too much of a good thing because sometimes getting too much fluid in a short time can also be dangerous.
With Philly experiencing another scorcher, it’s important to consider the basics of survival when tempted to hit Kelly Drive and for those who have to work outside in the heat.
“We try to go do some work then go take a break, a water break, shade break, whatever we gotta do to keep going. But if it gets too much, we’re done,” said Jose Perez, a gas line worker.
However, doctors say the biggest risk in the heat is dehydration.
“It doesn’t need to be 100 degrees. If it’s warm and humid, if you’re doing an activity that’s very strenuous, you can suffer a heat illness,” explains Dr. Tom Waters of the Cleveland Clinic.
Signs of heat exhaustion include nausea, dizziness, and headaches.
“By the time you’re thirsty, you’re already getting dehydrated,” said Dr. Waters.
To combat dehydration, Dr. Waters reminds those that exercise to “drink water” during it.
Staying hydrated is important, especially when exercising outside in the heat.
But doctors say there are potential dangers in drinking too much during a workout.
Sodium levels can become dangerously low if your body can’t process all of the fluids you take in.
This can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, or water intoxication.
Overhydration is an imbalance of fluids, which means your body has taken in or holds on to more fluid than your kidneys can remove.
Some of the symptoms of overhydration include headaches, vomiting, confusion, and even seizures.
Still, doctors say that water intoxication is very rare and many more people struggle with not getting enough fluids, especially in the heat.
For more tips on what to do in Philadelphia during heatwaves, check out this guide.