Health & Safety

June 1, 2012

Stay hydrated, stay healthy

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Airman 1st Class Michael Washburn
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Hydration_pict

Do you have dry skin, headaches, dry mouth and fatigue? If so, congratulations, you may be dehydrated.

As the weather in Tucson is hitting the triple digits, it’s becoming more imperative to drink water and stay hydrated. No one wants to be the person who passes out in a pool of their own sweat, only to wake up in the medical center with bags of fluid hooked up to them intravenously.

“In the wintertime, we recommend that people drink at least two liters a day,” said Kai Jones, 355th Medical Group triage nurse. “In the summertime, we don’t put a limit on the amount of water someone should drink. It’s so dry in Tucson and with a low humidity, you can be losing water and not even realize it. I suggest people sip on water all day so they stay hydrated.”

Water for the human body is like oil to a car. Sure, you may last a while without it, but eventually, you’ll crash … maybe on your face.

“It doesn’t take much for us to become dehydrated,” Jones said. “All of our systems need water to work properly. If someone is not drinking enough water, their systems will begin to shut down.”

Confusion, muscle cramps, lack of sweat and death are all possible from dehydration. To counter those symptoms, water is the best bet. Not coffee, soda, or energy drinks, just water.

“The caffeine in coffee and energy drinks will dehydrate the body and so will the sugar in soda,” Jones said. “If someone wants to have sports drinks, I suggest they mix it half and half with water because the body does need the electrolytes when working out.”

People need to make sure they have water stored away in their vehicle, in case the car breaks down, says Jones. She suggests keeping at least a gallon of water for the individual and also a gallon for the car’s radiator. These tips may seem odd for those Air Force members who come from a state with less intense heat and sun.

“The problem with the military is that many of the people stationed here may never have seen the desert before,” Jones said. “It’s important for them to understand the dangers of dehydration. Airmen not only need to look after themselves, but also each other.”




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(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Alystria Maurer)

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