COLUMN: Dehydration a critical matter for summer months outdoors

Published 11:48 am Thursday, July 9, 2015

This past weekend I realized how important it is to stay hydrated. You never really know how dehydrated you are until it’s too late.

Unfortunately someone I know died suddenly from a combination of being dehydrated and too hot.

It seems so strange that all he had to do was drink some water and he would have been OK.

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As the summer moves on and more time is spent outside, it is really important that people make sure they are drinking enough water.

I’m not a doctor, nor do I have any medical experience, but I do know from my time as a Division I athlete how important water is.

Every time you sweat or exert energy, you’re losing fluids and you need to replenish them.

If you researched how much water you need to drink everyday you would probably see all kinds of varying amounts. In reality, it is different for everyone.

When I was playing college softball I drank water like a fish because I was always thirsty.

Since leaving college, I don’t get as thirsty and I have to remind myself to drink water so I can stay hydrated and function throughout my day.

I’m not going to tell you to drink a set amount of water. I just want you to understand that even if you’ve had a water bottle at some point today, you could always use more. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to swap your sweet tea for water at lunch or your Pepsi for water at dinner. You will end up saving money in the process.

My friend was a very active 22 year old who spent most of his time in a gym working on his physique. He worked construction and spent hours in the gym, so it’s safe to say he was used to exerting lots of energy.

He decided to go to a concert with some friends and it just happened to be the weekend that my home state, Oregon, was having a record-breaking heat wave.

During the concert, there was limited access to water since it was at an outdoor amphitheater in the middle of the desert.

It’s no one’s fault that he got too dehydrated or that he was too hot, but it all could have been prevented if he had just drank some water.

So as the summer is in full swing, make sure you’re drinking water.

The temperatures are starting to heat up and I wouldn’t risk letting your internal temperatures get too hot either. Drink water, it may end up being the cheapest way to save your life.