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Think Again If You’re Reaching For Caffeinated Drink To Beat The Heat

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DETROIT (WWJ) – What’s the best beverage to reach for to help you cool down when it’s hot and humid? Water tops the list.

WWJ Newsradio’s Pat Sweeting spoke with Providence Hospital Emergency physician Steve McGraw about the best way to keep hydrated in this heat.

McGraw says non-caffeinated beverages, fruit juice or fruit smoothies are acceptable. Iced coffee and energy drinks, which contain large amounts of caffeine, could land you in a hospital emergency room. But water is the best choice for staying hydrated.

“I had one (patient) mention that he thought it was a good way to hydrate himself by drinking several ‘Monsters’ in a row. And I informed him that there were certainly better choices. He was actually there, certainly for being dehydrated, but because he felt light-headed. And the reason he felt light-headed is his heart-rate was so fast. Once we re-hydrated him with IV fluids, his symptoms improved dramatically,” said McGraw.

And if you’re someone with heart disease or a respiratory disorder, drinking caffeinated beverages during hot weather could trigger serious health problems.

“Even if they’re largely decaffeinated, some of those beverages would probably be okay. But, when you get into the pure iced coffee or even worse — some of the energy drinks … they often have multiple types of diuretics in them. Those stimulants that people drink them for also often have the effect of causing you to lose a significant volume of water, as well,” cautioned McGraw.

Hear Pat Sweeting’s interview here:


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