Heat and Hydration

Don’t Ignore the Signs of Dehydration

Heat exhaustion

Don’t ignore the signs of dehydration! Riding may not appear to be a highly physical activity to some, but motorcyclists are vulnerable to dehydration due to the drying effect of the wind and exposure to the weather. Many symptoms of dehydration can affect your judgment and impair your ability to operate a motorcycle safely.

Mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause:

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Severe dehydration – a medical emergency – can cause:

  • Extreme thirst
  • Irritability and confusion
  • Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
  • Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be darker than normal
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness

You can usually reverse mild to moderate dehydration by drinking more fluids, but severe dehydration needs immediate medical treatment. The safest approach is preventing dehydration in the first place. Keep an eye on how much fluid you lose during your ride, and drink enough liquids to replace what you’ve lost.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/basics/definition/CON-20030056?p=1

Learn more about preventing dehydration here.