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Microlight » Human Factors » Dehydration


Without realising, many pilots fly partially incapacitated by dehydration or hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). 

Sixty percent of body weight is water and a serious loss is incapacitating. We lose, on average, one litre per day and up to five litres a day in hot weather. 

In temperatures greater than 30°C we should drink 250 ml of water every 30 minutes to prevent dehydration.

Always carry bottled water in the cockpit and sip regularly.

As mentioned, caffeine is a diuretic and causes a lowering of the water content of the body - thus it is a negative health influence. Drink extra water when you are having coffee.

A party night is severely dehydrating due to alcohol and dancing. Drink plenty of water in parallel with party activities (one-for-one, water for alcoholic beverage is a good idea - water instead of alcohol is better for pilots the night before flying).

The best indicator of dehydration is the amount and colour of your urine. 

If you do not go as often as usual, and the urine is a darker yellow, then you need to increase your water intake. 

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