The best drink at this year’s Carolina Country Music Fest

Wellness
Fresh Spring Sparkling Water with Ice in a Glass

Whether it’s at the upcoming Carolina Country Music Fest or at any time this summer, it’s important to have an extra drink. No, not that kind of drink – water.
Proper hydration is essential during the warmer months when risk of heat exhaustion, heat stroke and other heat-related illness is higher. But drinking enough water becomes even more important if you are planning to drink alcoholic beverages at events like the music festival.
Even though beer, wine and many other alcoholic drinks are made almost entirely of water, they don’t provide your body with hydration; to the contrary, in most cases drinking alcoholic beverages will cause you to lose more water than you consume.

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That’s because alcohol decreases the production of a hormone called vasopressin that tells the kidneys to reabsorb water rather than pass it to the bladder, says Ashley Capps, associate vice president for nursing operations at Tidelands Health, the official health care system of the festival. As a result, water that would otherwise be retained by the body is passed to the bladder, people urinate more often and their risk for dehydration increases.
“Alcohol is a diuretic,” Capps says. “That’s a primary reason – the resulting loss of hydration – why people suffer from hangovers.”

Prevention

The good news is that dehydration is largely preventable. Capps offers these suggestions:

  • Drink water frequently, especially if you are consuming alcohol.
  • Eat foods with a high natural water content such as melons.
  • Avoid eating foods with a high salt content.
  • Avoid or minimize alcohol consumption.

How much water you should consume to stay properly hydrated depends on your size, activity levels and personal needs, says Capps, who encourages people to listen to their body’s signals.
If you’re drinking alcohol, it may be more difficult to identify those signs, so consider drinking a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage

Warning signs

Whether you are consuming alcohol or not, she says it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of heat exhaustion, which include heavy sweating, cold and pale or clammy skin, a fast, weak pulse, nausea, muscle cramps, tiredness, dizziness, headache and fainting. If you have suffer any of those symptoms or have any other medical concerns at the festival, seek immediate medical attention.
“As you enjoy yourself, it’s important to take care of yourself, too,” she said. “Health and wellness don’t stop when the music starts.”

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