Law enforcement in riot suits during summer combating heat exhaustion and dehydration.

AVOIDING DEHYDRATION IN YOUR RIOT SUIT

Law enforcement officers who have had to manage riots this summer know the feeling all too well –  It’s hot, your water levels are low, and you don’t know how much longer you’ve got on your feet. Drinking enough water ensures that these officers stay hydrated, but without a cooling or hydration system, law enforcement agencies, and rapid response teams don’t have many options to ensure they aren’t getting dehydrated. With many protests and riots occurring over the summer, more and more officers are turning to Haven Gear for their next-generation riot suits that are designed to keep officers safe and hydrated on the job.

Signs of Dehydration

When you start feeling thirsty,  you could actually be experiencing the early signs of risking dehydration. In many cases, you can tell if you are getting dehydrated by noticing increased thirst, but some may not feel thirsty, even when they should be hydrating. Other signs of dehydration include:

  • Infrequent Urination
  • Dry Mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling Tired
  • Having Dry Skin
  • Headaches
  • Heat Stroke

If you are standing in the heat in a riot suit, you should be hydrating frequently, especially if you sweat. Our optional hydration system for our lightweight riot suits features a durable water bladder and a hose that attaches to a MOLLE-lined back panel. They’ll provide hydration for you when you can’t leave your post or carry a water bottle.

How Much Fluid You Need to Stay Hydrated

There is no set amount of fluid for each person because each person’s body has different needs. Those who have salty sweat may need to replace sodium in addition to water. The best way to know that you are staying hydrated is to drink enough so that you have to urinate every two to four hours. If you get too dehydrated, you may end up in the hospital getting subcutaneous fluids to rehydrate yourself, so it’s important to drink something, even if you do not feel thirsty –  while you are out in the heat.

You Don’t Have to Drink Tons of Water

While water is the best – and often the least expensive way – to say hydrated, coffee, tea, and even soda and juices can help you avoid dehydration. The best thing about water is that it doesn’t contain sugars and other things that you don’t need. However, if you do sweat out a lot of sodium, you do need to add sodium to your water or other drinks. You can tell if you are losing too much sodium from sweating if your muscles cramp while you are moving around or if your sweat burns your eyes. You can replace that sodium by drinking something with plenty of electrolytes in it. 

Moderate Your Caffeine Consumption

You may have heard that drinking caffeinated drinks dehydrate you, but that is not necessarily true. If you drink it in excess, the caffeine does dehydrate you, but, according to Healthline, the caffeine starts to dehydrate you when you take in 250 to 300 mg, which is five to eight cups of tea or two to three cups of coffee (8-ounce size). Healthline stated that the study also found that 50 coffee drinkers ingested 1.8 mg of caffeine spread throughout four 27-ounce cups of coffee and remained hydrated as if they drank plain water. If you’re going to be going out in the sun for a long period of time, it might be best to stick to less than half of your regular amount of caffeine to ensure you don’t get dehydrated.

Switch To A Lightweight Riot Suit with A Hydration System

When you have to be out of your vehicle at a crowd control event, especially during the heat of the day, a lighter riot suit is the way to go. Haven Gear’s lightweight suits weigh just 10 pounds before you add ballistic protection. All three versions of our lightweight riots suits come with optional hydration and cooling systems, which is vital for those living in warmer climates. To learn more about our lightweight riot suits and other riot gear accessories, contact us online today!