“Linebacker Cliff Thrift returned to Chicago yesterday after spending the night in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, Fla. Thrift suffered dehydration cramps on the team bus on the way to the airport after Sunday’s game and needed four quarts of intravenous solution. ‘I’m fine,’ he said. ‘Pump some beer in that IV and he’ll really be all right,’ quipped linebacker Otis Wilson.” This Chicago Bears story was first covered in the Chicago Sun-Times on October 8, 1985.
Let’s be honest! We all may be guilty of a dehydration joke similar to Wilson’s when in the moment. While we are focussing on the game or the night at hand, it can become easy to overlook the severity of not properly hydrating. Those innocuous thoughts saying you will be okay for awhile and that you can hydrate later might actually not be so harmless. A lot has changed in sports and medicine since 1985, yet somehow we find ourselves thinking and behaving the same as before. Although it is drilled into us to drink lots of water every day, especially while playing sports, we often choose coffee, soda, sport drinks and other less-hydrating and, quite honestly, less healthy alternatives instead.
To be clear, dehydration can be fatal, and the signs are not always so obvious. However, even slight to modern dehydration can lead to Emergency Room visits, sudden healthcare bills, mental exhaustion and, of course, hampered physical performance. Is it worth the risk? Take action before it is too late. In general, always listen to your body. If you feel hungry or thirsty, you should immediately drink a glass of water, and keep a second glass to sip on. If you are playing sports or exercising, you should hydrate before, during and after activity. When you feel signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth, headache or dizziness, tiredness or weakness, increased heart rate or breathing, and decreased urination, water alone might not be enough to rehydrate. Once dehydrated, you will need to replenish the body’s most abundant extracellular electrolyte, sodium. The active transportation of sodium will pull water into the kidneys for rapid rehydration. An IV fluid given by medical professionals is the best way to obtain the intricate balance of sodium and water.
Or cut the cost of a hospital visit by hydrating with BANa, the “IV in a bottle,” (banadrink.com).