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Bad drinking habits

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Ofir_ISR, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Ofir_ISR

    Ofir_ISR Loaded Pockets

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    No, it's not about alcohol, it's about water.
    I realized today that people just don't understand how vital it is to keep our body homeostasis.
    Today, an Australian tourist who rode his bike in Israel lost consciousness, he was evacuated with a helicopter to an Israeli hospital where the doctors are still fighting for his life. Its unknown what are his chances for surviving, but most likely the brain damage will be permanent. This reminds me a series of people who died because they thought they can outsmart the heat, a Brazilian tourists who climbed all the way to Messada and died at the top from a hyperthermia, an israeli who had a problem with his car, and walked on the road until he died from dehydration (both on the same day).

    Why do you ask? because he decided to bike in one of the hottest places, on maybe the hottest day this year. How hot is it? 45 Celsius degrees in the shade (113F).
    Even worst, he biked on a highway, where the road is hot enough to give you a second degree burn if you touch it for more than a minute, that road catches thermal energy from the sun, and constantly emits it.

    But worst of all - his greatest mistake was that he was not prepared.

    I noticed it's not a tourists-only mistake, but a matter of education and knowledge, and many Israelis don't understand it either. I represent to you:

    How to face the heat.
    Or, how not to pass out when it gets over 42 degrees


    How does it feel when the air is hotter than your body (over 37 C)? If you Ever put you hand into an oven you know that feeling, only this time it's for hours, and all around your body.

    The 2 most common reasons for fainting in hot, dry environments are dehydration, and hyperthermia. Unfortunately I don't know much about hyperthermia, but really the best thing you can do is to cool the person's body and call for help. As for dehydration:

    One of the most effective ways of the body to keep itself cool (below 37.5 C) is sweating. The idea in sweating is to allow water on the skin to absorb the thermal energy, evaporate and discharge that energy slowly, away from the body. In extreme heat an adult man can sweat up to 2 liters every hour.
    We also loose water through urine. Lucky us, our body produces a hormone that delays the urination when there is a lack of water in the body. We are even more lucky, because we can tell how long our body produced that hormone through the color of the urine, the yellower it is, the more water our body needs. This is the best way to see the upcoming dehydration, and to prevent it at it's early stages.

    Dehydration stages:
    Stage 1: <5% [2 -3 liters less than the normal]. Symptoms: redness, thirst, tachycardia ( heart rate higher than normal), dry feeling in the throat, mouth and eyes, the tongue loses it's color.

    This is the most crucial stage, most of the people ignore it, think that the few sips it takes to calm their thirst are enough, and pay the price.

    Stage 2: 5%-8% [4 - 5 liters less than the normal]. Symptoms: Dizziness, headache, nausea.

    This is the worst stage, usually people don't feel thirsty and assume that their pills will solve their problems that look completely normal. They constantly ignore the basic fact that their body loses water faster than it's used to consume, their own feeling of thirst fools them. They drink by how thirsty they are, not by how much water they have lost. Sometimes they would have difficulties to drink, you have to give them water slowly.

    Stage 3: 8%-11% [6-7 liters less than the normal]. Symptoms: Vomiting, weakness, very dry mouth, very high heart rate, the skin becomes dry, pale and inflexible.

    At that point people around the person usually realize what happened, you would have to Put him in a cold place and help him cooling his body so he won't have to sweat a lot. Slowly give him water. most likely he won't be able to continue any physical activity.

    Stage 4: >11% [Over 7 liters less than the normal]. Symptoms: Hallucination, immobility, problems with hearing and seeing, loss of consciousness and finally hyperthermia.

    Reminder: The amount of water in your body is 75% of your weight.

    If, you are like our poor Australian tourist who traveled alone, or the people around you were not aware of your situation - you would get into this stage. usually it's too late to help someone at this stage, the best you can do is call for an emergency service, as he won't drink and the only way to give him water is through IV therapy.

    So, our lessons about dehydration:
    Don't ignore the signs your body gives you - if you have a headache 95% it's a dehydration.

    Don't just calm your thirst, drink as much as you think your body needs - it can easily get to 1 liter in an hour.

    Notice you urine, while it's a great way to loose water, it makes you aware of your need for water.

    Minimize your sweating, walk in cool places, take a break from time to time. If you are in an emergency, any source of water (even sewer, polluted water, or your own urine) can function as sweat. Soak you clothes in it and save your body precious drinking water.

    Be equipped, I'm going on a backpacking tour, not far from where that Australian was. I saw most of the people here take 1 or 2 liters of water for a single day of hiking. Well, I take 6, and that's not including water for cooking. If it's hot and dry, pack around 0.75 liters for an hour of walking. But plan as if you might consume 1 to 1.5 per hour, plan your course to go through a place where you can refill your water, just in case.

    But, most importantly:
    Thirst is a good mechanism made to prevent dehydration, but it's far from being good enough. The amount of water it requires to calm the thirst is not even close to the amount of water your body needs. Don't be fooled to think that if you are not thirsty you don't need to drink.


    I made this thread because that tourist showed me even an old and experienced man, who lives in Australia which is defiantly not a cold place can be unaware of the dangers and how to avoid them. Even my grandmother fainted due to dehydration when I was a kid. And my father told me how he almost died in Australia because he failed to assess the distance he had to walk, and water he needed.
    Since first grade when we went to school tours we were taught to drink much more than our thirst "told us to". In the Israeli army they once tried to minimize the soldiers water consumption. Now you can get you *** kicked if you don't drink at least 1 liter every hour.
    People should not die for stupid reasons such as being too lazy to drink.
     
  2. WillCAD

    WillCAD Loaded Pockets

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    Ironicaly, Ofir, people in non-hot places often don't give a second thought to hydration, and can easily pay the price.

    Here in Baltimore, our temps seldom go above 100F (38C). We've had an unusually hot summer this year, and had a couple of stretches of 3-4 days where the daytime highs were about 105F (41C). During thost heat waves, the TV news harps on how hot it is and how to keep cool; heat-related illnesses and injurries are talked about constantly, and the government advises everyone to stay in, reduce activity, seek air-conditoined places, etc. But few people talk about dehydration, and it's dehydration that causes all of the "heat related" illnesses in the first place!

    People here think that keeping cool is all about getting into a cool place. They totally forget about keeping hydrated.

    In some ways it's worse when the temps are not at the extremes. Our temp today is expected to top out around 87F (31C), but with high humidity that makes sweat evaporate slower. People walk around drenched in sweat, seek air conditioned spaces, and drink sugary sodas, coffee, tea, and other soft drinks, and totally forget about water. Even sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade are better than those sodas and coffees (do you have Gatorade and Powerade in Isreal?), but most people don't drink them because they contain a lot of sodium, or they're thought to be only for athletes, or some other rediculous excuse.

    I drink water, constantly. If I'm outdoors or exherting myself, I'll also drink a sports drink now and then along with the water, to replace the sodium and other chemicals my body loses through sweat. But mainly I drink lots of water; heck, I drink about 2 litres a day just sitting at my desk in an air conditioned office!
     
  3. Ofir_ISR

    Ofir_ISR Loaded Pockets

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    WillCAD we do have sport drinks, but they are very unpopular and hard to find, like you said, usually athletes use them. But I think I people sometimes make their own sport drinks right? I think i ran into an article in a hiking forum that gives recipes for such drinks.

    the best think is sweetened and cooled drinks, the cold temperature decreases your body temperature, and the sugar gives you energy, but also encourages you to drink more than the usual.

    as for coffee and tea - i can't imagine hot tea in the heat of the summer. However ice coffee is brilliant.
     
  4. Red Horn

    Red Horn Loaded Pockets

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    I was in DC last month and recall there were about 7 or eight days above 100 and 12 or so at or above 95 not counting the +100 days. With all the humidity it was not fun. I was told this weather was "unusual". I currently am in the desert area of CA and actually find the heat more tolerable even though it is several degrees warmer than the East Coast wave. The first thing I packed into my carry on was two empty bottles to use every day. I therefore agree with you on all counts.
     
  5. zenlunatic

    zenlunatic Loaded Pockets

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    One good thing about the military is they teach you hydration. Well at least USMC does.

    I need to edc water more often. When I'm exercising I always have my nalgene in my maxped pf2, but I've been leaving my jumbo at home a lot when I go in the car, which Im not proud of.
     
  6. Wolvee

    Wolvee Loaded Pockets

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    I have seen marines & Soldiers pass out from heat exhaustion while doing CWT. I think it's more of a problem because their battle buddy need to pay closer attention to the warning signs. Great post, thanks for sharing.
     
  7. WillCAD

    WillCAD Loaded Pockets

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    Unusual doesn't cover it! It's not unusual for us to have a few days per summer where the temp goes above 100, and plenty above 90 throughout the summer. But the 100+ days typically don't come until late July or early August, and I can't remember any years in my lifetime with so many of them.

    The humidity is typical for this part of the country, though. I hate it; it's like trying to breath under water. The humidity saps your energy like crazy, because (I've been told) sweat doesn't evaporate as easily in higher humidity, so your body's natural cooling system doesn't work as well, resulting in a higher core temperature. Drinking more and more water helps to rehydrate you, but even if it's cold water, it will only help to cool your core temp up to a certain point. I've also been told that part of the problem is how still the air is around here. We don't have constant breezes blowing, which would help sweat to evaporate quicker and keep the body cooler.

    All things being equal, I'd much rather live someplace with drier air. Like maybe Phoenix. Or Death Valley.
     
  8. GRIFFINHAWKS

    GRIFFINHAWKS Banned

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    Great thread !
    Here in Las Vegas most people walking around are borderline Stage 1 and the amount of alcohol consumed in 105+degrees and under 30% humidity makes for a breeding ground of dehydration !
    I ride a bicycle 100+ miles a week here, half the time in the day, and my water ends up getting warm enough to make tea withing a half an hour of my one hour trip into town ..
    The other day I stuffed a tea bag in the 1 liter bottle and enjoyed having tea for my ride (no caffeine) ..
    I have tried energy/sports drinks but I find the warm/hot-water/tea makes me feel more hydrated and comfortable than anything else ..
    I will add that in the day I drink coffee, water and a snack/yogurt before the trip and after, at least a gallon (with food) before the ride back and during ..

    BE WELL .. GH
     
  9. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    I live in a relatively cool climate, though this summer has been unusually hot (above +30 C for days). The advice I was given in the army was to avoid sugary drinks, but eat something salty or even add a tiny bit of salt into your drinking water. Sweat not only removes water from the body, it takes some minerals with it.

    Caffeine is diuretic which means it will make you lose more water to urination, so avoid coffee, tea, so called energy drinks and most sodas. Though if you have unlimited access to drinking water, I guess it won't matter that much.
     
  10. WillCAD

    WillCAD Loaded Pockets

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    Remember, "energy" drinks, and "sports" drinks are two completely different animals.

    A so-called energy drink basically has lots of sugar and lots of caffine in it, to give you a temporary energy boost. But it has a price - you'll crash later as the caffine and sugar highs wear off, and the caffine will speed dehydration, as Valolammas said.

    A sports drink, on the other hand, is formulated specifically to replace the sodium, electrolytes, and other minerals your body loses through sweating, along with some of the water. It's designed for use after heavy exhertion or heavy sweating, and is a far better choice than coffee or tea. You should still drink plenty of plain water along with the sports drink, but having one after - or during - your ride will keep you energized and hydrated better than a bottle of hot tea.

    I also recommend getting yourself an insulated bottle carrier to keep your water cool longer on your rides. Living in a desert region, I'm sure you know that drinking cool water will help to keep your core temp down, along with rehydrating you, while drinking warm beverages only speeds up core heating, which is bad. You might even consider a Camelback of some kind, and fill it up with ice before filling with water, which will keep it cool a lot longer (if you get one with a light colored cover).
     
  11. Red Horn

    Red Horn Loaded Pockets

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    Best solution I found is to use a bladder (Camelbak Omega or other) and pre-fill partially with water. Lay flat in freezer and position so water is away from mouth. Before ride remove for ten minutes or so and then top-off with cold water. The one large ice cube will last longer than a bag filled with tray cubes. You can also adjust the amount you freeze to tailor to the length of your ride. Less for short and more for long. You will also not be able to consume you precious water too quickly because the melting happens at a certain rate. Good Luck and stay cool...
     
  12. Krustofski

    Krustofski Loaded Pockets

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    As for the OP, what leaves me puzzled is that someone from AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL and ISRAEL should know what to do in hot weather. I mean, if this had been a Swiss tourist, okay.
     
  13. 50ft-trad

    50ft-trad Loaded Pockets

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    @ Krustofski

    One thing I've learnt in life is no one (race, colour, creed, sex, sexuality, or nation) has the monopoly on being wise or stupid.
    Everywhere you look there's morons, and if you look that bit closer there's always somone who knows far more than they let on :-P
     
  14. Ofir_ISR

    Ofir_ISR Loaded Pockets

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    It's not about being used to warm weather, it's about the fact it's difficult for people to understand that thirst is not the way to know if you need water.
    people who don't travel a lot don't notice that, even if they live in warm places.
    It's more about knowing your body than your environment.
    The Brazilian guy died because of hyperthermia, and not because he didn't drink enough, but because he was irresponsible and went on a very difficult path (climbing the road that goes from the dead sea to Masada) on the middle of one of the hottest days in that year. Irresponsible persons can be found anywhere.
     
  15. Krustofski

    Krustofski Loaded Pockets

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    It's not so much about race or nationality, but about experience previously made in life. An Australian shouldn't be a stranger to heat and should know all this. Well, ONE WOULD THINK and Australian shouldn't be a stranger to heat. Then again, if you drive to your air-conditioned office in your air-conditioned car, and after work do your shopping in the air-conditioned supermarket before you make it back to your air-conditioned home, than yes, I can see how this can happen.
     
  16. 50ft-trad

    50ft-trad Loaded Pockets

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    I read something once which said that at 3% dehydration you are thirsty, and at 12% dehydration you are dead! This has lead my to advising those who are less "prepared" than the members of this forum, that if you are thirsty you are 1/4 of the way to being dead to reinforce the importance of hydration - It tends to have quite an impact to those prepared to listen!
     
  17. Krustofski

    Krustofski Loaded Pockets

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    Okay, forget what I wrote, I see your point.
     
  18. jcw122

    jcw122 Loaded Pockets

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    Ofir_ISR....can you verify some of this information, with perhaps sources or qualification that you have? I really enjoyed the read, but the detail you go into makes me wonder where this information is coming from and what your qualification are. I'm not necessarily questioning the information, I'd just like to know how reliable it is. Thanks.

    Also, I'm wondering why the information is presented in Liters and not % of Body weight. A 100lb person losing 1L is far worth than a 200lb person losing 1L of water.
     
  19. Ofir_ISR

    Ofir_ISR Loaded Pockets

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    The information is presented in liters because it gives better understanding of the situation. Tell a person "you have 3% less water than you should" and he would say that's nothing, tell him he needs to drink 3 liters and you'll get his attention very quickly. If you want to do the calculations yourself here is the formula (I will add this to the thread):
    Your body weight * 0.75 = the weight of water in your body (1 Kg = 1 liter)
    stage 1 = <5%
    stage 2 = 5% - 8%
    stage 3 = 8%- 11%
    stage 4 = >11%
    I used the specific amounts of water from wikipedia, I did the math and it says the numbers refer to a person who is ~75Kg - an adult man.

    The information given is from personal experience, health sites (Hebrew and English respected sites), Wikipedia (which is far from being a respectful health site), and knowledge from my biology lessons and first aid course.
     
  20. Lightleak

    Lightleak Loaded Pockets

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    I once read that in hot summers drinking liquid that is much cooler than body temperature will actually raise your body heat. It was recommended to drink liquid that is just about body temperature or even a bit higher (but not hot). (Edit 2x): What they were saying is that if the liquid you drink is too cold, the body needs to produce more heat because it will think it is loosing body heat too quickly. I have only read that so I cannot prove if it is true. It was a doctor saying that in an interview.

    It´s also interesting to see that the touareg people living in the deserts drink hot boiled tea all day, I wonder if that has to do with water purification.

    Very interesting topic, thanks for reminding and explaining!

    Best regards,

    l.