Dude, Are You Dehydrated?

When we’re at the convention we’ve been looking forward to all year, we want to feel our best. We want to be in fighting form to be able to squeeze every drop of fun out of our weekend! Much like training to run a race, we’ve got to take extra good care of ourselves to be able to withstand the feats of daring-do! If we’re going to walk 5 times as far as customary, sleep ½ as much as usual, and perhaps enjoy some adult beverages, we’ve got to check under the hood and make sure to top off the oil!

What if I told you there was something you could do to support your brain, muscles, and internal organs that was free and doesn’t have to take up any precious convention time? DRINK WATER. Most conventions have water stations conveniently located throughout the event venue. Use them! Quaff a glass of water with your favorite anime, and if you’re at a dance, make sure you’re drinking enough to keep up with your sweating.

Hydrate!

How do you know if you’re drinking enough water? Well, if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. But if you need a more concrete indicator, take a look at the color of your pee. Ideally, your urine is mostly colorless and transparent (except in the mornings when it will be more concentrated). If it’s bright yellow, or heaven forbid, cola-colored, DUDE, you’re dehydrated! Drink water now!

Handy-dandy urine color chart.

What are the consequences of pretending you’re a camel and not keeping hydrated? The most common thing folks notice, something that sends them to first aid in droves at conventions, is headaches. Sure, the bright lights, noise, and crush of fellow fan-folk doesn’t help, but if you’re dehydrated, you’re going to have the Lord Orc of all Headaches. Along with your headache, you’ll be tired and cranky, have bad breath, and you’re likely to crave sweets that are going to make you feel worse when you get that sugar crash. Ignore those warning shots across your bow, and you’re looking at dizziness and muscle cramps. Keep that up, and you risk falling down a dangerous dehydration cliff that can end in rhabdomyolysis, which is even less fun that it sounds. Then you have to go to the hospital, which means you miss that late-night panel you had your eye on.

So, keep an eye on your pee, and drink enough water to stay out of the yellow zone. It’s a free and easy way to help ensure that your convention is the most fun it can be!