The onset of hot weather is a good time to review the basic facts about dehydration. Answer TRUE or FALSE to the following five statements:
1. Anxiety, confusion, dry skin, increased heart rate and decreased blood pressure are all signs of dehydration.
2. The key to preventing dehydration is to drink water or other hydrating liquids when you feel thirsty.
3. Alcohol and drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee and colas, provide a small measure of protection against dehydration.
4. You can supplement your fluids by eating raw fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, carrots, watermelon, grapefruit and apples.
5. Infants and the elderly are at greater risk of dehydration.
1. TRUE. Additional symptoms include thirst, weakness, lower urine output, darker urine and even fainting.
2. FALSE. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. To prevent dehydration, consume at least eight glasses of fluid throughout the day-even more during hot weather if you exercise strenuously.
3. FALSE. Both caffeine and alcohol tend to increase your body’s elimination of fluids.
4. TRUE. All these fruits and vegetables contain a high percentage of water.
5. TRUE. With both age groups, fluid consumption should be carefully monitored, especially during hot weather and if they suffer from vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
© Wellness Matters, Summer 1999. Used with permission.