21 October 2014
Summer in Queensland is no place for the faint hearted. With average temperatures of 30 degrees and a peak of 49 degrees in 2013, dehydration and heat stress are genuine concerns.
I’m not thirsty… why do I need to drink fluids?
Drinking enough water is crucial to a person’s health. However, unfortunately our thirst is not always a good indicator of sufficient fluid that our body needs.
Nearly every system in your body relies on water, according to Mayo Clinic's Functions of water in the body. The body cannot store water thus water intake must be replenished every day. Given this; inadequate consumption of fluids can lead to dehydration which occurs when your body does not have as much water as it needs to perform metabolic processes.
Are you drinking enough fluids?
Popular belief is that the body needs 6-8 glasses of water a day. However research conducted by Mayo Clinic 'Water: How much should you drink every day?' reveals that our needs cannot be categorised into one amount that fits all. In reality the needs are influenced by multiple factors including health, daily activity, climate and environment.
So, if there is no single formula and we cannot rely on thirst… how do we know if we are consuming enough fluids?
This may sound strange to some but the colour of urine is a good indication of the body’s water levels. To assist with illustrating this, NSW Ministry of Health have created a Urine Colour Chart that displays different shades of urine to give you a good idea of whether you are hydrated.
In addition to passing dark yellow urine there are other tell-tale signs of dehydration including lethargy, mood changes, slow responses and tiredness.
Staying hydrated on USC campus
USC is a water refill campus. There are over 50 free fountains located across the campus. In addition, USC has a Pro Aqua Water Refill Machine that offers both still and sparkling water. The water refill stations and drinking fountains make staying hydrated on campus easy.
Tell us how you keep hydrated to receive a complimentary refill bottle.