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Dehydration Affects Alertness (and new washroom etiquette)

It's been a while since I've randomly talked about things, but when I was writing this post, I was thinking dehydration...and mind mind started to wander...water consumption...going #1...and the "new etiquette" for guys going #1.

So guys, you know how much collateral splashing occurs when standing up to urinate (not just from poor aim, but splash up from the bowl). May I suggest that you sit down when at home or when you're a guest in someone's home. It's SO much cleaner. This is what we've been trying to do in my home with my oldest son, who's now 8. Our washrooms are so much clearer now.

Public washrooms are a different story, but I've got a few words to throw in about this too. Sure stand-up (if using the toilet and not urinals)...no problem. But in those places where they don't designate a washroom by sex (unisex washrooms) or even men's washroom without urinals, please lift the toilet seat! This is just courtesy for those who may want to do #2, and need a seat that's not drenched in urine.

Women, you listen up too...same thing...lift the seat and leave it up unless doing #2. I know most of you don't sit when doing #1...you'll squat over the toilet, but if the seat is down, it gets wet, putting it out of commission for anyone to do #2.

Basically, in public washrooms, the toilet seat should always be up unless doing #2. That's my opinion, and it makes a lot of sense...at least to me.

Now I've got that out of the way...here's another study on dehydration. This study evaluated the effects of 24-hr fluid deprivation (FD) on selected mood and physiological parameters, using a well-controlled dehydration protocol.

This was a cross-over study with 20 healthy women (average age 25) who participated in two randomised sessions: FD-induced dehydration vs. a fully hydrated control condition. In the FD period, no water was consumed for about 23–24 hours. Water intake was only permitted at fixed periods during the control condition.

Physiological parameters in the urine, blood and saliva (osmolality) as well as mood and sensations (headache and thirst) were compared across the experimental conditions. Safety was monitored throughout the study. The FD protocol was effective as indicated by a significant reduction in urine output. No clinical abnormalities of biological parameters or vital signs were observed, although heart rate was increased by FD. Increased urine specific gravity, darker urine colour and increased thirst were early markers of dehydration. Interestingly, dehydration also induced a significant increase in saliva osmolality at the end of the 24-hr FD period but plasma osmolality remained unchanged.

The significant effects of FD on mood included decreased alertness and increased sleepiness, fatigue and confusion. The most consistent effects of mild dehydration on mood are on sleep/wake parameters. Urine specific gravity appears to be the best physiological measure of hydration status in subjects with a normal level of activity; saliva osmolality is another reliable and non-invasive method for assessing hydration status.

Source: Influence of progressive fluid restriction on mood and physiological markers of dehydration in women

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  1. I'm with you on the toilet etiquette! I've got a husband and 2 boys and I'm constantly cleaning the bathroom or else it'll start smelling like a public washroom in no time.

  2. Ok, so I had to come back here to comment (took a while to find this post again). But I wanted to say how great this is! It took a week or so to retrain my boys to sit to pee instead of stand, but my bathroom is so much cleaner and doesn't need the constant cleaning it did in the past.
    Thanks for the wonderful suggestion.
    Now if I can only get all my visitors to do the same!


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