Preventing Dehydration

Knoxville (WVLT) - Pat Summitt is famous for her passion on the court.

She pushes her players to the limit, but many who know her say she pushes herself even more.

Perhaps, it's that very focus that caused her to ignore the symptoms she was experiencing.

Medical Reporter Jessa Goddard explains what you need to know to avoid a stay in the emergency room yourself.

Water, water and more water, and even that might not be enough.

Proper hydration takes time and effort, but dehydration can occur quickly.

Coach Pat Summitt is at the top of her game, professionally and physically.

The winningest basketball coach in NCAA history, also actively runs several summer basketball camps.

Dehydration is more common in babies, small children and the elderly, but Doctor David England says it can occur at any age, including healthy adults. "Certainly physical conditioning can help prevent it to some extent, but just because you're in good shape doesn't mean you're exempt from it.”

You've probably been told you need to drink at least eight to 12 glasses of water each day, that's the minimum.

Hot weather and exercise take the recommendation to a higher level.

You need to drink water before, during and after exercise. Take a bottle of water with you when you exercise and drink every 15 minutes.

"If someone's out in the hot summer weather, working in the yard or exercising, they ought to be prepared to drink about eight ounces of water for every 15 minutes that they're out working or exercising,” Dr. England explains.

And if you'll be working in the yard or exercising for longer than one hour, use a sports drink, because when you lose water, you also lose salt.

"Water by itself may not be enough, you might want to try thinks like Gatorade, Powerade, something like that that has chemicals in it other than just water,” Dr. England says.

Avoid coffee, cola and other drinks that contain caffeine, they increase urine output and make you dehydrate faster.

And avoid alcohol, it increases dehydration and makes it difficult to make good decisions.

When dehydration is treated and the underlying cause is identified, you will recover normally.

If you're doing anything active outdoors, you need to drink eight ounces of water every 15 minutes.