The Sneaky Side of Dehydration- "Taggart clarifies hydration comments made on call-in show"
The Sneaky Side of Dehydration
I know. You’ve heard it over and over again. Drink more water! And you’re tired of hearing it.
Maybe you’re already drinking the recommended 8 glasses a day, or maybe you struggle to even drink one. Or maybe you don’t even know what the whole purpose of all this water-talk is about? Well, rest assured, you are not alone. I hear all those comments quite often….
But…. Did you know that hydration is a tricky thing to get right? So tricky that even the FSU coach recently spoke out about the football team struggling to deal with it? He caught some flack for his comments, some people said that he was insulting his nutrition staff. I personally don’t think he was. He’s just speaking a truth that we would all be remiss to ignore. Dehydration is a formidable foe.
But…. I’m going to *attempt* to make things a little easier to understand/realistic to follow for you below:
If someone asks me, “Is eight glasses of water enough??” I always give the same answer, “Maybe….?” I promise I’m not being funny. Here’s the honest truth…
Even the professionals can’t agree on a set number and we can be really lazy sometimes as Americans wanting things to be spelled out in a pretty little formula with specific instructions. But I’ve got news for you. We are ALL different. We ALL have different needs. Infants need less water than Adults. That’s pretty obvious. But… how about this one… depending on your medical history, you might need more water than an adult male athlete! It will all vary based on your body size, the ability of your kidneys to filter the water you drink, and also on how rapidly you are using it.
Did you know that we cool ourselves off in this heat not by actually sweating… but when the evaporation of that sweat occurs? I don’t know about you, but when I am outside in the months of June through mid-October, I am practically covered in sweat at all times. It’s not pretty. It’s also dangerous. I could drink 12 glasses of water, but if I didn’t allow my skin to cool off, I would be experiencing heat exhaustion (or worse) pretty quickly.
Some people call this area the “armpit of Florida,” and while I don’t really find that to be very nice (as I like to think of this area as ‘God’s Country’), the likening of our climate to a big sweaty armpit sounds about right sometimes. It’s hot, humid (dare I say moist?)….And it’s sunny. And it’s not going to cool down until the very end of October (hopefully). And life doesn’t stop for the heat. We still need to mow the grass 1-2 times a dang week, we still need to take the kids to their sports game; we still need to work on our cars, or build houses, or lay wiring in an attic (you’re getting the point now right?)…. and we still need to tailgate on Saturdays DAGNABBIT!!
So, here are a few of my suggestions:
#1. LOOK AT YOUR PEE!!!!
I was practically born a nurse, and it’s always surprised me how many of you people look totally normal to me on the outside… but you don’t know what your pee (or poo) looks like!! I promise you don’t have to tell your friends… but you NEED TO KNOW what color your pee is…. AND… you need to be able to SEE THROUGH IT!! So, this means…. Tea/cola colored sludge is BAD…. And clear, light yellow to clear urine is GOOD!! While some vitamins will turn your urine a slightly more fluorescent color yellow…for the most part… you need to drink enough water that your urine is clear and light yellow. Like the inside of a lemon rind… that’s your goal.
And… if you are drinking alcohol... you NEED TO DRINK water along with it!! Pace yourselves.
And repeat after me: Alcohol + SUN/HEAT + limited water intake = BAD NEWS BEARS!!!!!
If you love your body, drink the water until your pee is perfect!!
#2: COOL YOURSELF OFF!!!
Wear light colored clothing that wicks the sweat away. Stay in the shade or the Air Conditioning when possible… and use fans to help you cool your skin off when you are outside. Those little battery-operated fans that are everywhere right now? You know, the ones that we should all have in our hurricane- kits? Use them! There’s no shame in my game, I carry them everywhere. And then people wanna get all up in my personal space. You know why? Cause those fans feel awesome. Buy some & Thank me later. (I promise this was not ‘brought to you by your local hardware store’ ha-ha!)
#3: COME SEE ME!!!!
If any of what we talked about above sounds familiar, or you aren’t sure if you could benefit, come talk to me and see if some IV fluids would benefit you. We have a quite few different options to suit everyone’s needs. Whether you want to pre-game, post-game, enhance your own athletic performance, or need a little extra help getting through your work week… give yourself some self-love in the form of an IV bag of vitamins…it can help.
Oh, and lay off the coach’s comments about hydration, he wasn’t insulting anyone… he’s speaking the facts, its hot as heck out there… and his athletes are working their tails off… of course they’re suffering in this heat! Now go make a donation to build an indoor stadium with air-conditioning…. I’m just kidding, I don’t think there is any such plan… but I would look a heck of a lot cuter cheering on our Noles without this layer of sweat!!
Until next time, you can find me at the Hearth!