Chances are, when you envision your upcoming visit to Hawaii, you don’t picture yourself in an Emergency Room being treated for dehydration. But, dehydration in Hawaii is a real danger, especially for visitors who aren’t used to spending the entire day outdoors. Why? For one thing, we have abundant sunshine and typically dry weather (or short-lived rainstorms). Another reason is due to all the tempting outdoor activities right outside the hotel room door — many visitors to Hawaii overexert themselves and forget to drink enough water during their excursions.

Here are some ways to prevent dehydration BEFORE you venture out for a day in the Hawaii sun (courtesy of WebMD):

  • Drink plenty of water or rehydration drinks (like Gatorade) before, while, and after you are active: And, take a container of water or sports drink with you when you exercise, and try to drink at least every 15 to 20 minutes. If you’ll be exercising for more than an hour, drink rehydration drinks instead of water.
gatorade bottles

Photo: Jeff Taylor

In some cases, a sports drink like Gatorade can hydrate you better than water. So, make sure you have some on-hand if you plan to be out for the day.
  •  Avoid high-protein diets while you’re here: If you are on a high-protein diet, make sure that you drink at least 8 to 12 glasses of water each day.
  • Avoid alcohol, including beer and wine: Yes, we KNOW you’re on vacation, but lay-off the alcohol if you’ll be out in the sun all day. It increases dehydration and makes it hard to make good decisions.
  • Do not take salt tablets: Most people get plenty of salt in their diets. Use a sports drink if you are worried about replacing minerals lost through sweating.

Despite taking these precautions before you spend a day in the Hawaii sun, you could still be at risk for dehydration. So, be on the lookout for symptoms, such as:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness fainting
  • Fainting
  • Inability to sweat
  • Decreased urine output
Before you spend the day participating in ocean sports, make sure you hydrate well and bring extra water with you.

If you should notice any of these, do the following:

  • Stop your activity and rest.
  • Get out of direct sunlight and lie down in a cool spot, such as in the shade or an air-conditioned area.
  • Prop up your feet.
  • Take off any extra clothes.

For Hawaii visitors who are taking a boat ride, the risk can be even greater. According to, “As you ride in a boat, your body automatically adjusts to the changing position of the boat. The exertion of this constant adjustment increases body heat.” This is especially true if you’re on a boat for several hours. So, before you leave for your Maui Sport Fishing excursion or boat tour ride, make sure you hydrate!

Being in Hawaii means taking advantage of our beautiful sunshine, outdoor sports, and island excursions. But, make sure you think ahead before you leave for the day — you don’t want dehydration in Hawaii to slow you down!


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