June 21st – The beginning of Summer north of the equator, the longest day of the year (daylight vs. night) and the Summer Solstice, the opposite for those south of the equator. Really? REALLY?
Well it was 111 degrees in Phoenix last Wednesday and Thursday and 112 degrees last Friday. One can understand my skepticism about today being the beginning of summer, but then it did cool to a bone-chilling 104 degrees over last weekend.
Like living on the surface of the sun. What better time than talk about water and hydration and how they sustain all life on earth.
We have spoken of this often in other posts such as:
Good to know, good to review and understand, but hydration is something we should always have on our minds.
As Pat Henry wrote in 2015 – “A critical prep that you have to plan for including in your bug out bag is water. When I first got into prepping, I had people saying that they would carry all of the water they needed in their bug out bags. If you figure 3 gallons (1 gallon per person per day), that would simply not be wise or possible for most people for very long. Then I started seeing people say they would pack 3 liters of water. That’s better, but 3 big plastic bottles is almost 7 pounds, not to mention you must have space for them. Not the end of the world, but not insignificant either.”
And as John Hertig pointed out – Water is water, but not all water is the same. There is pure water, just combinations of two Hydrogen atoms and one Oxygen atom (H2O). Generally the closest you can get to this is distilled water. This is useful and fairly harmless, although it is hypotonic (has a lower solute concentration than do human cells) and can cause hemolysis (rupturing of red blood cells); this is usually not a major concern even if this is all that is available to drink. Using it on wounds may delay healing a bit; and it might be a problem for people with ulcers (bleeding in the stomach). But this is still way better than no water. On the other end of the scale are various degrees of contaminated water, polluted with chemicals and/or biological organisms, which can make you very sick and even kill you. Salt water can be considered in this latter class as well, even if there is nothing else in it besides the salt. In between are various types of water, all of which are potable (suitable for drinking without major harmful effects).
Look, we all know keeping hydrated is crucial for our health and well-being, yet many people do not consume enough fluids each day. Around 60 percent of the body is made up of water, and around 71 percent of the planet’s surface is covered by water, though only 2 percent of that is fresh water.
Are salt-laced energy drinks really good for you?
We know Gatorade has been around forever, developed by the University of Florida. It was developed to replenish electrolytes, a set of minerals that your body needs to maintain healthy fluid levels and regulate its muscle function. There is science in this one. On the other hand the rash of new energy drinks has been a double edged sword. While they do give you a sugar or caffeine rush, it is at a price.
Bottom line – a growing body of scientific evidence shows that energy drinks can have serious health effects, particularly in children, teenagers, and young adults. In several studies, energy drinks have been found to improve physical endurance, but there’s less evidence of any effect on muscle strength or power, and in one case a woman who had six-to eight energy drinks a day for several years ended up having to have a pacemaker attached to her 32 year old heart.
So follow R. Ann Parris’s advice and if you must have something other than water consider these drink mixes.
Be smart, stay hydrated, always carry water with you and stay away from the energy drinks that do as much to dehydrate you as they do to quench your immediate thirst. First day of Summer, yeah, right.