The month of July marks the beginning of marching band practice for most school districts – in the unforgiving Texas heat. While most students know it’s hot outside, they don’t fully respect just how dangerous lack of proper hydration can be in the Texas heat. The good news is that a little bit of knowledge can go a long way to keeping students safe during practice.
What is dehydration?
Water makes up around 70% of the human body. It’s important for digestion, joint function, healthy skin and removal of waste products. Dehydration occurs when more fluid is lost from the body than is taken in. This causes an imbalance in important minerals, such as sodium and potassium, which are required for muscle and nerve function.
If there is a one percent or greater loss in body weight because of fluid loss, dehydration occurs. This may be mild, moderate or severe, depending on the amount lost. At one end of the scale, mild dehydration may cause someone to feel only a little thirsty. At the other end, severe dehydration can result in death.
Here are some simple tips to stay hydrated, and beat the heat on the marching field:
1. Eat your water.
Chowing down on water-filled foods like watermelon, is an easy and refreshing way to keep hydrated.
2. Swap soda for sparkling water.
Sparkling water is a healthy, but still fizzy, alternative.
3. Hydrate before marching.
Like exercising, be sure to drink water before hand.
4. Stay hydrated.
Even when working indoors, it’s important to keep the fluids handy.
5. Sip throughout the day.
Little things add up and fluid intake is no exception. Rather than downing a full beverage in one sitting, take drinks regularly throughout the day.
Dehydration can occur very rapidly and is nothing to be taken lightly, especially in the 100-degree temperatures of Texas. By following 5 simple tips, band students will be able to healthy and hydrated so they can concentrate on delivering a great performance!
photo credit: Tulane Public Relations via photopin cc