NDSU Extension - Sargent County

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Stay Safe Out There!

infused waterLast March, there were reports of roofs collapsing under the weight of snow.  The machine shed on my family’s farm in southwestern Minnesota was one of the casualties.  There was significant damage to the entire building and its contents.  So much so, in fact, that we knew the entire building would have to be demolished so that a new one could be built.

My youngest brother is the farmer in our family now, and he’s been plugging away at the machinery shed project as he finds time, since he also has another job.  Last weekend he decided to attack the machinery shed demo project with gusto.  Unfortunately, it was a hot, humid southwest Minnesota weekend, much like it was here in Sargent county, and Mother Nature got the best of him.  He ended up overheated and dehydrated and suffered severe leg cramps.  No matter how he re-positioned himself, there was no relief from the leg cramps.  As his big sister, I was concerned about him and his health and well-being.  Thankfully, he has now recovered.

Besides muscle cramps like what my brother suffered, other symptoms of dehydration include nausea, sunken eyes, clammy skin, inability to focus or concentrate, and rapid heartbeat. Odorous, dark yellow urine can also be an indicator.  If you suspect you and/or someone under your care are dehydrated, contact a health-care provider immediately, since dehydration can have serious consequences.

The human body is made up of about 60 percent water, with some variability based on age and other factors.  In our bodies, water plays many essential roles.  Helping to regulate body temperature, protecting, tissues, transporting nutrients, and carrying out wastes are some of the ways water is essential for our health and well-being. 

On average, we need eight or more total cups of fluids per day.  However, that doesn’t necessarily mean eight glasses of plain water each day.  All beverages and many foods, especially fruits and vegetables, contain water, and they all “count” toward the goal of eight or more cups of fluid per day that are needed to keep us hydrated. 

For nutrition and hydration, enjoy fruits and vegetables, aiming for at least 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily. On average, fruits and vegetables are at least 85 percent water by weight. Some, like cucumbers and watermelon are about 95% water by weight!

Keep food safety in mind when it comes to reusable water bottles. If you are purchasing a water bottle, look for one without a lot of crevices that are hard to clean. Wash water bottles thoroughly before using them for the first time, and also between uses. If your water bottle is dishwasher-safe, run it through the cleaning and sanitizing cycle.

If plain water is “boring” to you, experiment by infusing water with fruit, veggies, and/or herbs, following a recipe from NDSU Extension or another reliable source.

 

Photo Source:  https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1081427 (downloaded 7-22-19)

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