Dehydration results when fluid losses exceed fluid intake. Conditions that can lead to dehydration include:

  • Not drinking enough fluids daily.
  • Working or exercising in a hot environment (wet or dry).
  • Working or exercising in a cold environment (wet or dry).
  • Going to high altitudes.
  • Drinking too much alcohol or exercising with a hangover.

If 4% of your body weight is lost through fluid losses, decision-making, concentration, and physical work are impaired. A loss of 20% of body water can result in death (see Figure 2-1).

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