"De-hydration" is fairly self-explanatory - it's the state of being without or having insufficient hydration (fluids) for your body to maintain its healthy state. Sure, desert climates and outdoor activities in such regions are the obvious backdrops for dehydration, but it can happen to anyone almost anywhere if they're not careful.
And that's a big deal. It's not just about being thirsty or uncomfortable. The implications are pretty substantial and left unaddressed, dehydration can be fatal. Fortunately, from hikers to athletes, travelers and everyone between, the signs and symptoms show up much sooner than that.
Common signs and symptoms of dehydration may include:
- Dark yellow urine
- Dizziness and headaches
- Drowsiness and fuzzy thoughts
- Fainting or feeling extremely lethargic
- Dry mouth
- Racing heartbeat
Causes of Dehydration
The obvious cause of some dehydration is just that you may not have had enough water to drink. Perhaps you were too busy, maybe you left your bottle at the trailhead, maybe you were consuming caffeinated, sugary or salty drinks with little nutritional value. The list goes on and on.
Another factor is that you may just be losing more fluids than you're putting in. This can be the sneakier of the two. If you're sweating profusely during physical activity, have been vomiting or experiencing diarrhea, you may be losing significant amounts of fluid without really noticing it.
10 Ways To Fight Dehydration
- Drink before you're thirsty.
- Know where there are fallback sources of fresh drinking water.
- Use shade and coverage to your favor.
- Limit your alcohol consumption.
- Work fruits and vegetables into your diet. They're often higher in water content than other options.
- Reach for a replenishing effervescent mix like Hydr8 that can help restore vital vitamins and electrolytes lost through sweat.
- Control direct skin exposure to the sun.
- Know the signs and symptoms to catch dehydration early in its tracks.
- Exert yourself just below a sweaty threshold. If you notice you're losing a lot of liquid quickly, slow your pace.
- Modify your activity windows around peak sunlight and temperature spikes.
Be an advocate this summer and help educate those around you. A little knowledge goes a long way in preventing undue dehydration.