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Don’t Let Hot Weather Kick in Kidney Stones

Don’t Let Hot Weather Kick in Kidney Stones

Death Valley gets less than two inches of rain a year and summer temperatures can soar to 120°F or higher. Chances are that’s one place you’d be sure to drink plenty of water.
But if you’re in towns like Portland, Cleveland or New York City where average highs are in the mid or upper 80s, you might not think hydration is much of a worry.

That would be a mistake. Kidney specialists have discovered that in addition to all the standard symptoms of dehydration (cramping, heart palpitations, dizziness, infrequent urination and dark yellow urine), when temperatures jump to 86°F or higher, so does your risk of kidney stones.

So how much water should you drink when you’re active on a hot day? Start with 16 ounces about an hour before you head out and another glass 15 minutes right before you get going. Then drink 16 ounces every 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the temperature, your age, weight and activity. And you should urinate copiously 3-4 times a day; less indicates you’re taking in too little liquid. Also, replace electrolytes: Take a break to eat a banana (400mg of potassium) and add a pinch of salt to your water if you’re out for more than 90 minutes. Take in added calcium with nonfat, sugar-free yogurt and at all times (except after you take a multivitamin!) your urine should be a pale, light, clear color. If it’s dark and cloudy start drinking cool water immediately. Stay clear of kidney stones in hot weather.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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