9 Signs Of Dehydration At The Beach (Protect Your Family)

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You’re headed to the beach and ready for warm weather and sunshine. If it’s a vacation, you might spend a weekend (or an entire week) on the sand.

You’ll have all the necessities including towels, swimsuits, hats, sunscreen, and an umbrella. Don’t forget water!

Water is one thing that many people forget and it’s not always easy to find on the beach.

Hydration is important, yet so many people don’t drink enough water on a daily basis. You can get away with being dehydrated if you’re just going to and from work.

However, at the beach you are sweating and in the sun. Moreover, you’re in and out of the ocean and since your skin is wet, you don’t notice the symptoms of dehydration.

If you have young children, they should be monitored to make sure they are getting enough water. A water break might also include a break from the sun.

They will be enjoying themselves and won’t think twice about drinking water.

In this article I’ll share 9 common signs of dehydration and why parents should be aware of each. I’ll also share what to drink and what beverage to avoid.

Lastly, I’ll share a few tips to avoid dehydration at the beach. Let’s keep everyone in your family safe!

9 Signs Of Dehydration At The Beach (Protect Your Family) tips to avoid dehydration at the beach

  1. Lack Of Water Intake

One of the easiest things to be aware of it water intake. You can monitor yourself and others by remembering when you last consumed water?

In warm environments, like at the beach, you should plan on drinking water every 15 minutes (check out the best coolers for the beach). It doesn’t have to be a lot, just enough to replace some of the moisture that you’ve lost.

  1. Excessive Sweating or Lack of Sweating

Excessive sweating and lack of sweating seems like they would indicate two different things. You should be aware of excessive sweating and drink water accordingly.

If you notice you’re not sweating that could mean you’re lacking the hydration to sweat. In that case, it’s important to stay out of the sun a while and drink plenty of water.

  1. Rapid Heartbeat

Dehydration doesn’t just affect your skin, if water isn’t consumed you can sweat and the body has a hard time regulating its temperature.

A rapid heartbeat is a sign that your body is working harder to pump blood throughout your body.

If you’re at the beach all day, make sure to take breaks from the sun where you can eat and drink (check out the best sun shades for the beach). Short rehydration breaks out of the sun will keep your heart happy.

  1. Very Dry Skin

Dry skin goes hand-in-hand with a lack of sweating, however, if you’re spending a lot of time swimming you probably won’t notice that you have dry skin.

You’ll also have sunscreen on that could mask dry skin.

Remember, hydrated skin equals healthy skin and it will hold up much better in the sun (home remedies to get rid of sunburn fast).

  1. Lack of Energy

If your kids suddenly feel tired or dizzy, it could be because of dehydration. If they’ve been playing all day in the sand and ocean, it could simply mean they are worn out.

A snack and water break could help them get back to having fun.

  1. Thirst

Excessive thirst is a telling sign of dehydration but remember: many small water breaks are much healthier than drinking a large amount of water at a time.

  1. Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps are a common symptom of dehydration. Muscle cramps occur when your muscles aren’t adequately hydrated and they begin to contract.

Rehydration will help improve the muscle’s mineral reserves and increase blood supply.

  1. Haven’t Urinated or Dark Urine

Because we can’t see the effects of dehydration it’s often hard to know why we’re feeling unwell.

Our urine is probably the easiest way to tell if we’re dehydrated because it will appear dark yellow or brownish if we’re really dehydrated.

If you’re well hydrated, expect to see a clear to clear to light-yellow urine color.

  1. Alcohol Consumption

If you’re spending the day drinking at the beach, chances are you’ll become dehydrated. A few beers and cocktails may make your beach day more enjoyable, but be cognizant of the effects of alcohol and have a few bottles of water to drink as well.

After a long day of drinking at the beach, make sure to load up on water in the evening. This will help you rehydrate overnight and might reduce the chance of a hangover the following morning.

Drinks To Avoid

We all know that water is the best option and the drink we should consume most. Although other beverages may taste great, they are usually loaded with sugars and calories.

When in doubt, water is always the best tool for rehydration. Water has 0 calories so you don’t have to worry about drinking too much.

There are a few drinks you should avoid while on the beach.

  • Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are loaded with sugar and caffeine. Energy drinks may be fine for certain situations, but on the beach, you’ll be in a warm, sweaty environment.

Energy drinks can put a strain on your body and affect your heart. The sugar can be more than what’s found in soft drinks and adds a lot of calories to your diet.

  • Coffee

Most people can enjoy a cup of coffee on the beach without a problem. The only issue you’ll have with coffee is the caffeine and the diuretic effect if you consume multiple cups.

Like energy drinks, high caffeine intake can put more stress on your heart if you’re in the sun all day. In general, a single cup of coffee isn’t something that will cause dehydration.

  • Alcohol

Alcohol can absolutely cause dehydration. Combined with swimming or playing on the beach, alcohol can make you dehydrated in a hurry and even impact your skin (sunburns).

Dehydrated skin is will be more susceptible to sun damage. In fact, drinking alcohol while under the sun can increase the chance of dehydration and heat exhaustion.

Tips To Avoid Dehydration At The Beach

The Center for Disease Control (CDC)  has a few helpful tips to avoid dehydration.

  • Drink water before you start the day (as soon as you wake up)
  • By the time you feel thirsty it’s too late (drink regularly even if not thirsty)
  • When outside, drink 1 cup every 15-20 minutes
  • Drink at shorter intervals rather than large amounts infrequently
  • Add to your intake if in the sun and sweating


When you’re at the beach it should be a good time for all. Unfortunately, the heat, combined with a lack of hydration, can lead to dehydration. If your family is planning a trip to the beach, you’ll have a list of all the essential beach items.

You’ll pack the towels, sunscreen, suits, hats, and umbrellas, but don’t forget to bring extra water.

Once you get out on the sand, water will be hard to come by (unless you enjoy drinking salt water). Energy drinks contain too much sugar and caffeine, while sodas are also loaded with sugar.

Even though it lacks “taste”, go for water. It will keep you and your family hydrated and in good spirits.

Be sure to drink water early in the day to prepare your body, then continue to drink water every 15 minutes in small amounts. Hopefully, you’ll take your own shade to the beach so your family can get a break from the sun.

Thanks for reading another Beach Life article, where we do our best to get you prepared. Have more questions on safety or products? Use the search bar to find helpful information.