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.