Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » The Hype of Dehydration and Heatstroke


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Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
headache on 04/11/2013 08:39:15 MDT Print View

I always get a headache when I get dehydrated. It took me a long time to realize that was the cause as I "blamed" it on everything else first.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Dehydration & Heat stroke on 04/11/2013 08:54:05 MDT Print View

Dan Durston had heat cramps that phased into classic heat exhaustion in my opinion, brought on by everything ; ) (environmental exposure, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance).

Edited by jshann on 04/11/2013 08:58:53 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear) - M
Re: Protein on 04/11/2013 09:59:00 MDT Print View

My bad, i assumed after you drank the tuna brine, you then ate it at some point during that difficult period and yes 2 oz of jerky isn't much all in all. In any case, to simplify it, i agree with what John Shannon wrote, as i suspect there were multiple factors. Keep the protein thing in mind though for the future, though that may not have been a big factor in this particular case. I have largely stopped eating any foods higher in protein while being very active on warmer or hot days, and i've noticed a bit of a difference in how much water i will need, how much i sweat, how hot i feel, etc. Btw, Cody Lundin is one of the people who talks about this in one of his books, and as he is a desert survivalist par excellence, he should know what he is talking about.

Conversely, i do the opposite when it's very cold and/or i'm less active on cooler days. I will eat more protein and fat, and definitely notice a difference in being warmer and more comfortable then. I saw some idiot on a reality, comedic t.v. show once, decide to eat only meats for a period, and he ended up being tired all the time, got the "meat sweats" bigtime and generally ran hotter than usual.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
Dehydration & Heat stroke on 04/11/2013 10:58:09 MDT Print View

Thanks for the thoughts guys. Since then I've been paying more attention to electrolytes (i.e. adding some powder to my water). That also makes the water taste better which helps with hydration.
sweat

Edited by dandydan on 04/11/2013 10:58:59 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Dehydration & Heat stroke on 04/11/2013 11:06:43 MDT Print View

Dan,

The white residue is very familiar. In my mind our food should contain most of what we need. For me, eating a few Pringles during the day does the trick. I really don't care for sports drinks -- plus if you fill all your water bottles with sport drinks, how do you wash your hands after pooping; don't ask how I know to ask this question :)

Electrolyte replacement is a different animal for those engaged in extreme sports.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Migraines on 04/11/2013 14:20:55 MDT Print View

Lynn,

I too get migraines from dehydration. Walking while having auras blows so I have learned the painful lesson to stay ahead.

As for the whole heat stroke topic...well all I can say is one of my past hiking partners lost his wife to a combination of it. It came on quick. Anytime other issues crop up - having vomiting or diarrhea for example, while hiking in heat/exposed, heat stroke can easily grab a foot hold. And it can be fatal quickly. It isn't something to take lightly IMO.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Dehydration & Heat stroke on 04/11/2013 17:18:07 MDT Print View

"plus if you fill all your water bottles with sport drinks, how do you wash your hands after pooping;"

Purell.

@Dan Wise move, deciding to add electrolytes to your water. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise at the levels you are exercising. That picture of your pack strap says it all. Been there done that, and I'm here to tell you electrolytes have changed my life. It doesn't have to be a fancy sports drink or ripoff Nuun tablets, a 1/4 teaspoon of Mortons Lite salt/liter of H2O will suffice. It provides ~280 mg of Na and ~350 mg of K, which are the two electrolytes most easily depleted. You may want to cut your water with something like Crystal Lite if you don't care for the taste of slightly salty water. A small canister of Mortons Lite costs something like $2.50 and will last at least a year, probably more, depending on how much hiking you do and the conditions you are hiking in.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Dehydration & Heat stroke on 04/11/2013 17:40:19 MDT Print View

"It provides ~280 mg of Na and ~350 mg of K, which are the two electrolytes most easily depleted."

I wish they would sneak a little magnesium in there.

--B.G.--

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
The Hype of Dehydration and Heatstroke on 04/11/2013 17:41:14 MDT Print View

Born into a Catalan family, Jornet [Kilian] grew up in the Spanish Pyrenees at 6,500 feet, and his gifts are literally in his blood. “When you are born and bred at altitude, you tend to have a higher blood volume and red-cell count for oxygen-carrying capacity,” which translates to better endurance, says Stacy Sims, a researcher at Stanford who holds a doctorate in exercise physiology and nutrition science. Years of daily running and skiing up mountains have further bolstered this advantage. This helps explain why Jornet sweats so little. During exercise, the bodies of very fit people quickly act to disperse heat by, among other things, vasodilation — expanding blood vessels at the skin’s surface where the air can cool the body. A body that sweats less loses less precious liquid from its circulatory system, a major factor in fatigue.
In moderate temperatures, Jornet says, he can run easily for eight hours without drinking water.

From -http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/24/magazine/creating-the-all-terrain-human.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I add salt to my water and have to be very careful to stay hydrated due to a health issue.

Edited by jephoto on 04/11/2013 20:22:25 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Dehydration & Heat stroke on 04/11/2013 17:50:04 MDT Print View

"Purell"

Hmm... is it a good idea to kill the good germs with alcohol? Might it get rid of the germs that protect us? Does soap and water do a better job of cleaning?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: The Hype of Dehydration and Heatstroke on 04/11/2013 17:54:37 MDT Print View

"I add salt to my water and have to be very careful to stay dehydrated due to a health issue."

Jason, why do you want to stay dehydrated? That doesn't sound very healthy.

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Dehydration & Heat stroke on 04/11/2013 18:11:59 MDT Print View

"Hmm... is it a good idea to kill the good germs with alcohol? Might it get rid of the germs that protect us? Does soap and water do a better job of cleaning?"

On a small area for a few days at a time, I suspect it is not an issue. I still have all my fingers and all my skin on same in good condition. ;)

Soap and water do a better job of physically removing material, including the good bacteria, but alcohol sure does a number on bacteria, at least IME. I would think this makes for a good argument for using alcohol in areas where water is at a premium and should be conserved for drinking, especially if you have to carry your entire supply. That said, I certainly wouldn't recommend it for year in/year out use. My 2 cents

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Salt, lemon, and water. on 04/11/2013 18:28:32 MDT Print View

I've been drinking a daily concoction of ~1/4 teaspoon sea salt, 20 oz. of water, and a lemon, lime, or orange wedge squeezed into it immediately when I wake up.

I'm usually up at 4:45 AM to surf before work and a few months ago I realized that consuming nothing but coffee until after my session wasn't doing me any favors for performance, recovery, or energy later in the day. So I started this drink, combined with a bowl of steel cut oats with a good handful of blueberries in it (sometimes with a big glob of plain Greek yogurt as well), and it has made a HUGE difference in how I've felt over the last two months. I don't drink my coffee (only a cup) until after I've had my drink and breakfast. I've never been much of a breakfast person until now.

Will probably take this same routine backpacking from now on.

Tom, you're dead on about salt and water. No need to get fancy with things. Added benefit, it's very economical.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Dehydration & Heat stroke on 04/11/2013 19:24:26 MDT Print View

"I wish they would sneak a little magnesium in there."

According to what I have read, it doesn't get depleted as fast. I just make sure to take a magnesium tablet at either end of the day, along with calcium. If you would rather take it in "on the fly", just pick up an OTC magnesium supplement and take one, or more according to your need, during the day. They are easiest to find in a 250 mg dose, IME.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
The Hype of Dehydration and Heatstroke on 04/11/2013 19:59:52 MDT Print View

A great snack to have on hand during a hike: Trader Joe's Plantain Chips

http://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/trader-joes/roasted-plantain-chips

Note: I only link to this site b/c it came up on a google search for the nutrition label; I'm not a regular on "fatsecret.com", honest.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
The Hype of Dehydration and Heatstroke on 04/11/2013 20:23:42 MDT Print View

Jason, why do you want to stay dehydrated?

Typo corrected - must be dehydrated today.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Dehydration & Heat stroke @ Nick on 04/12/2013 19:24:47 MDT Print View

"Inquiring minds want to know."

Always a good policy. I did a little inquiring on both our behalfs and came up with an interesting report from the Berkeley Wellness Center on just this subject:

http://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/preventive-care/article/6-tips-smart-handwashing

The gist of the article is that washing the hands with soap and water is still regarded as the most effective way of sanitizing one's hands. Alcohol based gels are effective at killing bacteria and viruses, but not bacterial spores, and less so if the hands are dirty. Alcohol can also irritate tender hands, although I have not experienced this problem so far. They also specifically recommend washing with soap and water after pooping. So, if you can spare the water it would seem that is the way to go. Still, I have been using alcohol based sanitizer for years with no apparent ill effects. Go figure. Anyway, I thought it would be good to mention this as a follow up to our dialogue.

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dehydration & Heat stroke @ Nick on 04/12/2013 20:30:03 MDT Print View

Wrt alcohol vs hand-washing, it's worth pointing out that alcohol-based hand sanitizers seem to be particularly ineffective against norovirus, something you *really* don't wanna get when you're out in the middle of the wilderness.

Bill S.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dehydration & Heat stroke @ Nick on 04/12/2013 21:14:42 MDT Print View

"it's worth pointing out that alcohol-based hand sanitizers seem to be particularly ineffective against norovirus, something you *really* don't wanna get when you're out in the middle of the wilderness."

I doubt this would be an issue for most backpackers.

According to the link below, the sources of norovirus are: "Produce, shellfish, ready-to-eat foods touched by infected food workers (salads, sandwiches, ice, cookies, fruit), or any other foods contaminated with vomit or feces from an infected person."

http://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/causes/bacteriaviruses/norovirus/

That said, hand washing is still considered by most medical authorities to be the most effective way to eliminate pathogens on your hands.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Dehydration & Heat stroke @ Nick on 04/12/2013 22:13:34 MDT Print View

Of course the comment was "tongue -in-cheek."

But we have become such a risk adverse society. I see hand sanitizer available to the public for free in so many places these days -- supermarkets, department stores, etc. This has got to be a bad idea. Soon we won't have an immune system.

When I was a kid we were always dirty from playing outside. My mother made us wash our hands before meals and we took a bath once a week. We never got sick.

A good friend of mine grew up in rural India. He told me the local water sources usually had greenish water. He never got sick. I am sure some health expert here will point out the dangers and provide case studies to disprove all of this. I think we are all a bunch of sissys ;)