Tired, Achy, Cranky? You Could Be Dehydrated.
Jul 21, 2022
Why is Water Important?
1. Responsible for the absorption of nutrients
2. Helps eliminate waste
3. Regulates body temperature – body feels cooled down when hydration levels are normal
4. Protects vital organs
5. Aids the heart in pumping blood throughout the body
How Does Dehydration Occur? What are the Signs?
Dehydration occurs when your body loses more water than it absorbs. Water is lost each day during basic daily activities, and for those who exercise, this amount increases. During exercise, or even when sitting in extreme heat, most of the water your body loses is in the form of sweat. Dehydration can occur if the water is not replenished. The very first sign that your body is starting to dehydrate is thirst. If the body continues to lose more water than is consumed after this first sign, you may experience other symptoms such as:
- Muscle fatigue
- Inability to focus and keep balance
- Lack of energy
- Muscle cramps
- In serious situations, heat exhaustion or heat stroke
- Urine is a dark color instead of clear and pale
How Can I Prevent Dehydration and Stay Healthy?
The recommended guidelines for daily water consumption when exercising are:
- 17-20 ounces of water every 2 hours before exercise
- 7-10 ounces of fluids every 10-20 minutes during exercise16-24 ounces of fluids for every pound of body fat lost after exercise
The best way to prevent dehydration is to drink plenty of water. Sports drinks, that contain electrolytes, and certain foods are also good hydration sources best had either before or after physical activity. During a workout, water is the best solution. Most importantly, you don’t want to wait until you are overly thirsty to get a drink. Regularly consuming water throughout the day will prevent thirst and the risk of dehydration.
NOTE: If you take any medications that have diuretic effects, are obese, are in extreme heat, or are exercising, you should consume extra amounts of water to counteract the excess water you are losing.