Hydration Education

Gators in the sun

As Florida residents, which a majority of Gators are, we know a thing or two about heat. But anyone who has walked down Stadium Road or Girls walking on campus Gale Lemerand Road in 80 or 90 degree weather knows what it's like to break a sweat. This is especially true with a 20 pound bag full of textbooks on our backs.

While out in the heat for long periods of time and under physical strain, it is very important to stay hydrated.

Gainesville weather in summer and spring ranges from the high 70s to the 90s. According to an article from The Gainesville Sun, "so far in 2012, there have been 10.95 inches of rain, 5.68 inches below normal." So we as students are walking to class in high heat with very little hope of relief.

What is dehydration?

Dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving the body is greater than the amount being taken in.

We lose water when we breathe, sweat and eliminate waste. It is important that we replace the water we are losing. According to www.MedicineNet.com, a brisk walk can cause us to sweat 16 ounces of sweat (a pound of water) depending on weather conditions. We need to drink water to replace what we have lost in sweat.

Am I dehydrated?

Some signs of dehydration include:

How much water do I need?

There is no concrete answer to this question. A Gator Girl staying hydrated while studying According to Mayo Clinic, "your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live."

Most people have been told to drink eight glasses of water a day, which is a good rule of thumb but is not backed up by medical evidence.
Adult women should, according to the Mayo Clinic, drink at least 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of "total beverages" a day. This is, however, if living in a temperate climate.
So Gators, take that into consideration.

How do I know if I'm drinking enough water?

Drink enough liquid so you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow.
Drink with each meal and between each meal.
And drink water before, during and after exercising.