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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Dehydration: The Hidden Menace

Staying+Hydrated
Photo by Photo by C. Morgan Engel
Staying Hydrated

It’s football season here in Aggieland and game day festivities are in full swing on campus. Saturdays now consist of heavy traffic, weak cell service and the annual Texas heat and humidity. 

While football season may be a highlight of the semester for many, there can also be many potential health risks associated with games and the heat. Recently, there have been warnings directed towards the student population to inform them about proper hydration during football games. 

Meghan Windham, registered dietitian for Student Health Services, said she believes that proper hydration is imperative for a student’s health and well-being. Windham said staying hydrated on a daily basis helps with many factors including regulating body temperature, lubricating joints and carrying nutrients and oxygen to our cells 

Windham also said prolonged heat exposure, especially on game days can lead to dehydration when not drinking adequate fluids before, during and after the event. Especially when students are standing on their feet for the majority of the game, dehydration can be compounded with feelings of lightheadedness and dizziness.

Students often misinterpret when associating alcohol consumptions and proper hydration, according to Dr. Garry Gore, TAMU EMS medical director. 

“The main misconception is that students think alcohol is hydration,” Gore said. “Many of them aren’t aware that when they drink alcohol, especially beer, they tend to urinate more and so they’re losing water just as fast as they’re drinking it.” 

A report by TAMU EMS states that in Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Lafayette, there were 38 instances where people needed medical assistance due to environmental exposure. 

Public Health junior Kristen Sanchez said the solution for dehydration starts at being prepared and planning ahead. 

“When you’re standing under the hot sun for hours on end, your body loses fluids that are vital to its function,” Sanchez said. “It’s important to plan ahead and remember to drink plenty of water before, during and after the game.” 

Sanchez said hydration helps people stay awake and energized during the game. 

“Staying hydrated can prevent problems such as fatigue and loss of consciousness which are commonly experienced at football games,” Sanchez said. 

Windham said the best way to prevent dehydration is to start drinking water early and suggests consuming at least 64 ounces during the day and also trying to be consistent by doing this both on game day and in the days before to prepare for the long hours of standing in the heat.

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