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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Dehydration a risk in desert

    Colin Darland
    Rita Lichamer / Daily Wildcat Surf Pictures

    Alyssa Weaver’s vision became blurry as she stood cheering on the football stands, and before she could ask for help, she had blacked out from dehydration.

    “”It wasn’t the first time that it happened. I have a tendency to pass out,”” said Weaver, a visual communications junior, reflecting on her experience freshman year.

    She said she tries to drink more than the reccommended six to eight glasses of water per day and that coming from Colorado, it takes time for her body to re-adjust to the Tucson heat. “”It is also easy to forget about drinking water after drinking coffee and caffeine,”” Weaver said.

    Shari Overland, nursing supervisor at Campus Health, said she deals with at least one or two cases of dehydration a day, more of them in the summer and fall than any other time.

    Part of the problem, she said, is ignorance of dehydration symptoms. 

    Many people “”just aren’t aware of how much they need to keep drinking in order to stay hydrated,”” Overland said.

    Campus Health Services recommends that students drink at least eight glasses of water a day, but said they should really drink more than that.

    Speech and hearing sciences senior Mallary Owen is from Phoenix, and said although she is used to the Arizona heat, it can still get to her at times. Owen recalled blacking out at a music festival in California two years ago.

    Owen said she was not the only one who passed out, and remembered several other women fainting around her. “”I was lucky enough to have a girl catch my fall, but another girl fell flat on her face,”” she said.

    It is easy to forget about drinking water, and then suddenly it is too late, she said.

    Owen bought a reusable water bottle to motivate her to drink more while on campus. This way she is able to refill and reuse it during the day in order to keep hydrated, she said.

    “”For however many hours you plan to be out in the sun, you should have 20 ounces of water,”” Owen said.

    It is something she is working on every day, she said, but added that eight glasses of water is a lot to think about in one day, especially when everyone is stressed out with school and always “”on the go.””

    “”Even if you think you’re not predisposed to dehydration or passing out,”” Weaver said, “”the climate here makes it so you need to pay attention to your water intake.””

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