LUBBOCK, Texas— For most Texas Tech fans pregaming at a tailgate is the ultimate celebration with lots of food and alcohol, but sometimes not enough water.
Michael Szymanski, the Director of Education for the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut said it’s important to hydrate while eating salty tailgate foods, because sodium actually helps with water retention.
“They’re typically pretty salty and heavy in fats too, which you know, isn’t a bad thing for all,” Szymanski said. “Eating excess sodium could actually increase the risk for dehydration if you’re not coupling it with fluids as well.”
Director of the Hydration Science Lab at Arizona State University, Dr. Stavros Kavourase says believe it or not, everything actually starts before the game.
“Make sure you start the game being well hydrated,” Kavouras said. “Make sure you drink some water on the side as well. Around 80% percent of beer is water. Alcohol dehydrates you, so even though you drink something, you end up losing by urination more than what you’re drinking so that could predispose to starting the game a little bit dehydrated. It’s a good idea when you hit the bleachers to be already in a good hydration state.”
The more alcohol you drink, the more of the game you’ll miss, mainly because you’ll probably be taking a few more trips to the bathroom.
“Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it essentially flushes water out of your system,” Szymanski said. “It further increases the risk of developing dehydration, as well as increasing the risk of developing some sort of heat illness, whether that’s muscle cramps, heat exhaustion, or the worst case scenario heat stroke.”
Kavouras said if for whatever reason you’re avoiding picking up that water bottle at a hot game like Saturday’s, you put yourself more at risk for other chronic diseases. Thankfully, there’s a simple solution.
“The good news is that there is a very easy fix,” Kavouras said. “Just drink up.”