Okay so you have finished decorating your dorm with the cutest posters, organized your workspace, and this room that is the size of a closet is actually starting to feel like home-yet you’re missing something.
Running around to your classes, pulling all-nighters to study for that oh-so-important test and sweating your mascara off at the football games every weekend seems to be the college experience. College certainly is a lot of walking, a lot of sweating, and a lot of tears.
And all of this water loss leads to one thing: dehydration.
Dehydration on campus is a big issue. I go to Arizona State University in Phoenix and the heat here is truly unbearable, (it is just barely starting to say in the double digits!) and I’m pretty sure that I lose my body weight in sweat on my short walk to school.
As you start to lose water, your body begins to slowly shut down and the symptoms range from slightly annoying to life-threatening.
How do I know when I am becoming dehydrated?
When your water intake is less than your water loss you begin to become dehydrated. Several things can lead to this.
Illness for one, can increase you chances of losing water without giving you a chance to recharge you body. Symptoms of illness such as excessive sweating, diarrhea and vomiting all repel water out of your body and leave you feeling too tired to give your body the water it desperately needs. This inability to drink fluids is incredibly dangerous and can push your dehydration to an entire different level.
For people with diabetes, if your blood sugar becomes too high, it may cause sugar and water to spill into your urine. This causes significant dehydration. Excessive thirst and frequent urination are early symptoms of diabetes.
Some less significant signs that you are becoming dehydrated are chapped lips, a dry mouth, and becoming extremely tired. If you are thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. The second you start feeling these symptoms, grab a quick drink of H2O.
What actually happens when I become dehydrated?
The symptoms that may come from dehydration range from mild to life-threatening. They may be just as simple as increased thirst and dry mouth and may worsen to more severe symptoms such as a coma or seizures. These more severe symptoms can warrant a hospital stay, so stay safe and continuously drink water throughout the day.
What is dehydration?
The body is very dynamic and always changing. This is especially true with water in the body. We lose water routinely when we breathe, sweat, go to the bathroom, and cry. In a normal day, you have to drink a significant amount of water to replace this loss. The way to figure out just how much water you need to drink is based on your weight.
How can I get the water that I need daily?
I am an avid water lover so I have some great tips and tricks for you.
For most college students, a Starbucks location is not too far away from us at any given moment. Water there is free and triple filtered so your body, budget, and taste buds will absolutely love it. I work at a campus Starbucks and I drink anywhere from five to seven Trenta waters a shift. This ranges from 150 to 210 ounces of water! Also, refills are always free, so your local barista will be happy to fill up your water bottle.
This leads me to another point. Buy a cute water bottle! When you have an adorable water bottle, it is more an accessory rather than a chore to carry around. And as the compliments start flowing in, hopefully so will the water in and out of it.
The next time you order a drink, ask for extra ice! By doing so, not only are you keeping your drink nice and cool, you are also getting extra water in it!
As drinks go, when it comes to hydration it is always best to stick to water.
The number one drink to avoid if you’re starting to feel dehydrated? Soda. It’s good to avoid in general, but especially regarding your hydration.
Finally, are you one of the people that just can’t stand to drink water? Although I personally think you guys are crazy (water is seriously delicious) I even have a tip for you! Eat your water! Now while you might be thinking that I am suggesting that you chow down on some ice that is not what I’m suggesting at all. Your favorite fruits and veggies have an incredible amount of water in them, so utilize it! Pack an orange and entire box of your fav berries and you’ll be ready to go!
So go forth Metiza girls, but go forth happily and hydrated.
Also published on Medium.