Tailgating this weekend? Drink more water

Along with the barbecue and fried chicken, water should be a staple at your tailgate.

The Pirates kick off the 2013 season at 7 p.m. Aug. 31 against Old Dominion. Tailgate lots open at 1 p.m. providing several hours for socializing with friends in the hot and humid weather. At a media briefing this week, Lt. Chris Sutton of the East Carolina University Police Department said tailgaters should drink more water. Ideally, they should start hydrating two days before the contest especially if their tailgate will include alcoholic drinks, which dehydrate the body. “Alcohol works against your body,” Sutton said. “The longer the tailgate, the amount of alcohol that can be consumed before the game increases.” 

The American Academy of Family Physicians has the following tips on staying hydrated year-round:    

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Consider carrying a reusable water bottle and filling it from the tap rather than purchasing bottled water, which is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste.
  • If plain water doesn’t interest you, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • If you’re going to be exercising, make sure you drink water before, during and after your workout.
  • Start and end your day with a glass of water.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight loss plan, as some research suggests drinking water will help you feel full.
  • Drink on a schedule if you have trouble remembering to drink water. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the top of each hour.
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it’s free!

Why is it so important to stay hydrated? Your body depends on water for survival because water makes up more than half of your body weight. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. Your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. Water is essential for good health.

How does my body lose water? You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You lose water even faster when the weather is really hot, when you exercise, or if you have a fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can also lead to rapid fluid loss. If you don’t replace the water you lose, you can become dehydrated.

How do I know if I’m dehydrated? Symptoms include:

  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • No tears when crying

 Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to act.  Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water every day.

Go Pirates!