When living at the Jamboree you need to drink a lot of water. That should not be a surprise to anyone. But what happens inside the body when you get dehydrated? And what are the signs that you are drinking enough water? We had a talk with a doctor at the Jamboree.

It is around 34 degrees Celsius outside (93 Fahrenheit) and everything on my body is covered in sweat. It even seems like my nose is sweating when walking on the Jamboree’s dusty roads. Luckily, it is a nice temperature inside The Jamboree Health Centre where I am going to meet Kurt Kowalski. He is the doctor chief medical officer of The Jamboree Health Centre.

I am standing in the waiting room. Two patients are inside the room as well getting looked at by medical staff. Both patients are unwell, they are dehydrated according to Kurt Kowalski.

“We have had dozens of people coming in the last couple of days. The heat is very strong, so it is difficult for everyone to drink enough water,” says Kurt Kowalski.

According to him, this is what happens to our bodies when we get dehydrated:
Our bodies cool down using sweat, and as the body cools down it loses water and electrolytes. If you do not make sure to drink enough, your body will have less blood to pump around in your body, because there is less water in your blood. You will start to feel weak, nauseous, tired, you will vomit, and your body will start to shut down.

What can you do?
It is difficult to know how much water you actually need to drink. But there are some good indications which show if you are not drinking enough water.

“Look at your urine. If it is white or light yellow, it means that you are drinking enough water. If you do not use the restroom, or if your urine is brown or dark yellow, it is bad,” says Kurt Kowalski.

He suggests mixing water and Gatorade half and half because there are electrolytes in Gatorade. If you are already thirsty, you need to drink a lot of water because you are already lacking hydration.

Furthermore, it is also very important to always carry water with you to protect yourself. Spending time in The Jamboree Health Centre instead of exploring the Jamboree is not fun. (Even though the Health Centre is full of competent, nice people and has air conditioning!)

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