Dr. Kandra Yee, C.F.O of H2uP Tahoe was featured in the Tahoe Daily Tribune. She answers a question submitted by a Tribune reader:
“What is the proper amount of water to consume in a day? We’ve all heard the classic minimum eight glasses a day, but lately I’ve been hearing/reading much different info based on gender, age and altitude.”
Her answer was:
When it comes to how much water you should drink every day the real answer is: it depends. Despite the common advice reminding us to drink eight glasses a day or more, there are no good studies that can give us an exact amount of water that is right for everyone.
For the average healthy person, you should drink enough water to stay hydrated and keep your urine light colored (slightly darker yellow urine first thing in the morning is OK). For each person this will be different and may vary day to day, depending on a number of factors.
Let’s take Rosie, for example: Rosie is a 35-year-old healthy woman with no history of heart or kidney disease. On an average day she might need eight glasses of water to stay hydrated and keep her urine light yellow. However, if she has the flu, is skiing Tallac, or hiking the Rim Trail in the hot sun, she’ll likely need a lot more water to keep up. Certainly any adventure at higher elevation will require that you drink more water than if you were doing the same thing at sea level.
Fortunately, in addition to watching the color of our urine, our bodies are designed to feel thirsty when you need to drink more water; drinking more than you actually need will only lead you to urinate more. In addition to thirst, other signs of dehydration include fatigue, dizziness and headache.
Of course, if you have heart disease, kidney disease, or are on certain medications, your doctor may have different recommendations. He or she may recommend restricting your water intake, drinking more than the average person needs, or may give you a different way of monitoring your own water intake. Always check with your doctor first in these cases.
Lake Tahoe has plenty to do for everyone, all year round. But spending time in the high-mountains can also dehydrate you faster than you may think. Here are a few of the most common causes for dehydration in Tahoe:
The altitude causes the kidneys to diurese – meaning excrete more fluid.
2. Dry climate
The low humidity causes insensible water loss, which means losing water through evaporation off your skin and in the air you breathe.
3. Increased cardiac output
Your heart has to work harder to compensate for the decreased oxygen.
4. Acute Mountain Sickness
AMS causes symptoms of anorexia and nausea, which means you don’t feel like hydrating yourself.
Alcohol is also a diuretic, and people tend to consume it when they are on vacation.
6. The Hypoxic Ventilatory Response
You breathe faster due to the lower oxygen – which increases your insensible losses.
Staying hydrated in Lake Tahoe takes constant effort. You need to drink an extra 1.5L of water at Tahoe elevation compared to sea level, and that is just at rest. Now increase that if you are going boating, skiing, mountain biking, hiking or doing any of the other activities there are to enjoy in Tahoe.
If you are going to drink alcohol, you need to increase your water intake even more.
Stay on top of your hydration and you will stay out of trouble. However, if some of those factors catch up with you and you have headache, nausea, weakness, and fatigue as a result of dehydration, then just give us a call. You don’t want to miss out on your precious time in Tahoe!
H2uP recently did a treatment demonstration for the Tahoe Daily Tribune at the Tahoe Mountain Lab. The Tahoe Daily Tribune is doing a series of articles shedding light on various wellness offerings in the Tahoe area. The author’s conclusion:
Another vitals check revealed my pulse had relaxed. My headache was almost completely gone, the slight nausea was quelled, and I felt much more clear-headed.
So does it work? In this humble journalist’s opinion, yes. What started as a miserable morning quickly turned into a productive day at the office — and for that, H2uP, my boss thanks you.
Head over to the Tribune and read about the journalist’s H2uP Experience!