Q & A: What’s the deal with dehydration?

With busy schedules challenging college students and the abundance of drinking on the weekends to relieve stress, dehydration is becoming a common diagnosis.

Why is staying hydrated so important? Human environmental studies professor Anna Most took the time to sit down with Grand Central to answer some questions about how this issue is influencing college students across the country.

Grand Central: What causes dehydration?

Anna Most: There can be many causes of dehydration, including illness, which causes vomiting and/or diarrhea, alcohol consumption, being very physically active and losing a lot of sweat – especially in hot weather – and not drinking enough to replace the losses.

GC: What makes dehydration so dangerous and why is it important for students to be aware of the issue?

AM: Severe dehydration can be life threatening. Mild dehydration can cause dizziness, fatigue and poor athletic performance, but severe dehydration can cause low blood volume and seizures.

GC: Do you think dehydration influences college athletes in performance? If so, why?

AM: If an athlete is even mildly dehydrated, it can impact performance. We need water within our cells for efficient energy metabolism.

GC: Do you have any tips or suggestions on how students can make sure they stay hydrated?

AM: Get into the habit of drinking water frequently throughout the day. That overall recommendation of 64 ounces per day is a good place to begin. If you are physically active, think about weighing yourself prior to exercise and replacing the water you lose during exercise. Professionals recommend are 1 cup every 15 minutes during activity, 2 cups of water for every pound lost.