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Avoid Dehydration and Body Break-Down by Sucking in the Water

Aug 17, 2007
Staying hydrated while being outdoors whether camping, fishing, hunting or what have you is important in more ways than you would think. What can be affected by lack of hydration? What does staying hydrated do beyond keeping me alive?

I can tell you a dozen stories of road marches and pushing the body too the limit while performing in nature under the hot sun. My time as an infantryman in the United States Army left many imprints in my mind but none stood out more than the belief in staying hydrated.

Before I get into the benefits of consistent hydration, let's chat about not drinking enough water and the identifiers that dehydration is setting in. You would be surprised to note that the smallest and simple symptoms could mean your body is trying to tell you to get some liquid in it quickly.

One of the first things you will notice in the early stages of dehydration is the fact that you have begun to sweat less and finally not at all. You will feel chills even if it is a blaring one-hundred plus degrees in the shade. You will get a sticky feeling in your mouth. Your skin will begin to loose its elasticity. You may begin to feel light headed indicating that your blood pressure has begun to drop.

All of these things are warnings that your should hydrate immediately. Do not allow yourself to dismiss these warnings. Sometimes you may feel great but are experiencing one of the above symptoms. Do not allow yourself to dismiss the possibility of dehydration. Immediately drink some water.

There are many ways to avoid dehydration and a good start would be to drink plenty of water before engaging in an activity that would cause you to sweat and loose water. Also, totally avoid alcohol before anything strenuous on the body.

Do not believe that you cannot dehydrate in cold weather. This can be very dangerous. People often do not think about drinking water in cold weather because they do not associate the cold with sweating and loosing liquids from your body. However, you do sweat in the cold as you are commonly wrapped in warm clothing that makes you sweat. Make yourself sip some water periodically whether thirsty or not.

Now, let me tell you a bit about the benefits of being hydrated while taking on stressful task such as jogging, hunting, fishing, hiking or whatever you engage in. Hydration, as we all know, is important because our bodies consist of water.

When hydrated your body will feel energized the majority of the time. Now, this does go hand in hand with nutrition and the amount of carbohydrates that you have been feeding your body, but without water, you can eat granola bars all day and you will still crash and burn.

Your mind will be much clearer when hydrated properly. You will not get that depressed and overwhelming feeling of despair for any apparent reason. Dehydration can affect you psychologically. You will have the desire and will power to take on anything with that water flowing through your system.

Your vision will be sharp. You will notice that as your body starts to loose water, it begins to place non-critical systems on standby or reduce the amount of resources needed to run them. The body does not need vision to function. So, you will begin to see a bit more blurry without liquids. You will also hallucinate in more extreme situations. Your vision may even ignore things that are happening around you as your mind fails to process them.

You body will remain liquid, flexible and light with plenty of hydration. Lack of liquids can make your legs feel like a pair of logs attached at the hips. Your fingers will loose their agility and your flexibility will decline. Hydration will immediately energize your body.

Let me brief you on a few tips to stay hydrated. These are things that you can do as preventative maintenance while undertaking stressful tasks that lead to liquid expenditure.

You should be constantly sipping water. A lot of times, we take on very extreme tasks and our focus drifts away from hydration. You must take responsibility for preventing this. Make yourself take five or six sips every ten to fifteen minutes at all times. This will keep a constant supply of liquids flowing into the system.

You must take in more than you put out when it comes to water. This continuous drinking will provide this and prevent your body from falling behind and shutting down.

Another critical preparation you should make to enhance your ability to stay hydrated is provide an easy means to do so before taking on your task. This would be accomplished by purchasing good equipment. Do not cut back on preparations in this area. As we grow fatigues, we fight ourselves on doing the little things that must be done and we only focus on the major task at hand.

Gerber makes some inexpensive hydration packs that you can strap on your back and run the water tube over your shoulder. This keeps an easily accessible supply of water inches from your mouth. There is no excuse not to take those needed sips every ten or fifteen minutes.

Another thing you can do to enhance your desire to drink water while performing is to put an additive in your water. Things like Gatorade or other tasty powders provide a refreshing drink and carbohydrates to keep you trucking along.

Good luck on your sweaty adventures and make that water a major priority in your preparations.
About the Author
William "Cole" Doggett is an expert in knives and owns a successful Internet based website, Knife & Supply Company, LLC at www.KnifeSupplyCompany.com. His website is devoted to all things tactical law enforcement, military, outdoors and of course, Knives.
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