I am launching a new series of blog posts here at the Allen School Blog entitled, The Informed Certified Nursing Assistant. Certified nursing assistants are on hand in doctor’s offices and hospitals all across the US and the more they know about prevailing medical and health-related trends, the more effective they’ll be at providing excellent care to the patients they serve. So today’s premier installment aims to draw the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) student’s attention to an issue which is especially relevant in light of the summer heat and the upcoming Olympic games. I am talking about dehydration. Athletes and regular folks alike (especially those who work or play outdoors) must pay close attention to their bodies on days when the thermometer pushes toward the top. In the heat, it is essential to keep adding liquid as the body sweats out so much fluid. Here’s a great piece of information for a Certified Nursing Assistant to know: those “sports drinks” that claim to be better than water for replenishing what the body loses in the heat are largely ineffective. According to a study printed in the British Medical Journal and recapped here in a Yahoo news article, there is “a striking lack of evidence to support the vast majority of claims related to enhanced performance or recovery”. So, Certified Nursing Assistants, make sure to suggest the most effective way of combating dehydration to the patients you serve during heat waves and athletic activities: drink plenty of clean, cool water!