View Full Version : Hydration helps Miramar Marines stay healthy throughout the summer

05-22-09, 06:58 AM
Hydration helps Miramar Marines stay healthy throughout the summer

5/21/2009 By Lance Cpl. Christopher O'Quin , Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. — With summer approaching, the steadily rising temperatures can cause individuals to lose water more rapidly. With the proper measures, Marines and sailors can avoid the risks of injury caused by dehydration.

According to a survey by The National Weather Service, more than 200 Americans suffered heat injuries in 2008 because of heat overexposure and dehydration. Those two factors create a recipe for serious injury or death.

“The human body needs water more than any other beverage,” said Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Denise G. Angeles, the senior enlisted leader of Branch Medical Clinic aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. “One person I knew drank too many energy drinks and not enough water. This caused his kidneys to shut down. Sports drinks are great, but water is essential.”

The human body is 70 percent water. Water sustains numerous key bodily functions such as sweating away excess heat, eliminating harmful waste and lubricating joints to ease movement.

“The hotter summer weather means more evaporation of sweat and faster dehydration,” commented Julie Carlson, the health promotions director with the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Semper Fit. “You need more water with increased sweating and exercise.”

With every function of the body, water acts as a catalyst for the chemical reactions.

It works as the body’s natural cooling system. The sweat that evaporates off a person’s skin and the circulating air, cools the body and keeps the core body temperature under control. Water decreases wrinkles on the skin, aids in cellular regeneration, and thins the blood.

“I try to drink at least three quarters to a gallon of water before bed,” said Lance Cpl. David Everett, an engine mechanic with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 16, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. “You sweat in your sleep and lose hydration. You should drink two glasses of water before and after physical training to replenish your fluids.”

With inadequate amounts of water the body can overheat. Left unchecked, overheating can lead to heat cramps, heat exhaustion or in worst cases a potentially fatal heat stroke.

Heat stroke occurs when the body does not have enough water to cool itself. The increased body temperature overheats the brain, causing damage. Notifying emergency services, taking the victim to a shady area, removing clothing and giving water are some measures people can take once signs of heat stroke set in. Signs of dehydration include, decreased sweat, headaches, fatigue and muscle cramps.

“Thirst is a sign you are already too dehydrated,” said Carlson. “Marines and sailors can remedy dehydration by drinking 64 ounces of water. You can hydrate with not only water, but fruits such as cantaloupe, grapes and watermelon.”

By taking the proper steps, Marines and sailors can continue their mission and stay healthy throughout the summer.