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A lesson in liquids

Dehydration

Wherever you read Cracker Barrel—at your office (we won’t
tell your boss) or in front of the home PC—you’re probably not thirsty. You can
find plenty of water nearby.

But even if you’re not thinking about dehydration now, it’s
a danger that could harm you later. As the temperature rises outside, it’s your
job to help make sure that all that outdoor fun is accompanied by plenty of
hydration. 

Start by telling your Scouts not to rely on thirst to tell
them when it’s time for a water break. By then it’s too late. You know how
after surgery the doctor tells you to “stay ahead of the pain” with your
medication? Well, the same goes for hydration. Stay ahead of your thirst,
because once your body screams at you for water, you’re already dehydrated.

Let’s break down some stats, shall we?

  • Dehydration of just 1 percent of your body’s water can
    make you physically or mentally weaker.
  • Hard work (think hiking, swimming, paddling, etc.) can
    take away 2 percent of your body’s water in just an hour.
  • Thirst sets in at 3 percent. See? We told you it was too
    late.
  • At 7 percent you’re exhausted and on the brink of
    collapse.

So just like many outdoor ailments, dehydration can escalate
quickly if you aren’t prepared. Convinced yet? Now check out these five helpful
tips from Richard Bourlon, the BSA’s health and safety expert:

  1. Drink a half-liter of water up to two hours before a
    strenuous activity.
  2. Take mandated water breaks every 30 minutes during
    exercise.
  3. Make plenty of water available at meals, which provide
    great opportunities for hydration.
  4. Use sport drinks to supplement—not replace—water.
  5. Never use sodas as a substitute for water.

Now, we’ll leave you with a few of our favorite hydration-related
sayings. Apologies if you’re eating breakfast. They all stem from the fact that
urine color is a good hydration indicator:

“If your urine is dark, you’ve missed the mark”

“A happy mountaineer always pees clear, and an unhappy
fellow always pees yellow.”

And for the medical crowd, there’s “Drink, pee, no IV.”

Chime In: Do you know any other hydration-related sayings?
Let us know in the comments.

1 Comment on A lesson in liquids

  1. Matthew Flitton // April 27, 2009 at 10:25 am // Reply

    Clear and copious- guideline that talks about how your urine should be. It doesn’t rhyme, but it has alliteration.

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