Dehydration: Symptoms and Prevention
Want better training, quicker recovery times, and proven results? Then you need to stay hydrated. Dehydration is one of the most common problems for contenders. However, it’s also one of the easiest issues to address before, during, and after your training sessions. Simply put, dehydration is a natural human reaction to instances when we don’t have enough water in our systems.
Here, we’ll take a look at what dehydration is, what electrolytes are, and some of the things that you can do to make sure that you don’t suffer from dehydration during your next workout.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is what happens when you don’t take enough fluid into your body to match the losses you experience during exercise. You physically can’t perform at your best if you’re dehydrated, and research shows that if you’re as little as 2% dehydrated, your fitness results can begin to suffer. . The symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dizziness during exercise
- Dry mouth, throat, and lips
- Dark colored urine
- Performance drop-off
- Muscle cramping
What is Dehydration Synthesis?
Let’s look at dehydration from a scientific perspective:
Similar to the dehydration we experience as contenders, dehydration synthesis is a chemical reaction during which monomers combine to create polymers in one’s cells. During dehydration synthesis, the hydrogen atoms of one monomer combine with the hydroxyl group for another monomer, which releases a water molecule. The monomers that come together via dehydration synthesis form covalent bonds with each other. Dehydration synthesis describes what happens when two molecules join to make a larger molecule, leaving water out in the process.
What this means is when you suffer from dehydration, your body is losing more water than it’s taking in. Since water is essential to every bodily process, this limits your performance, and can lead to serious problems like discomfort, and even feelings of illness.
Whether at the scientific level or while sweating in the boxing ring, dehydration speaks to a loss of water. The good news is that dehydration is simple enough to manage. You just need to make sure that you drink more water when you’re sweating, ensuring that you’re keeping your body balanced. The important thing to remember is that it’s not just important to replace the water you use during activity, but the electrolytes that exit your body when you sweat.
Defining Electrolytes: Why They Matter to Your Workout
You may be wondering why you can’t simply drink more water and enjoy your workout. While plenty of water in your system is great for avoiding dehydration, it’s not just water loss that you need to worry about.
No discussion about dehydration would be complete without an explanation of electrolytes. Most people have heard of electrolytes before on sports drink advertisements, but they’re not sure what these things actually are. Basically, electrolytes are a collection of minerals that are essential to human health. They contain sodium ions, magnesium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and more.
As many of these minerals are essential, they can’t be substituted by other things in your body. That means that you need to replace electrolytes when you use them. Electrolytes are more important than you might think, as you use them in everything you do. Electrolytes are responsible for directing nutrients and water around the body to the places it’s needed most.
By helping to maintain the fluid balance in your body, electrolytes help your muscles relax and contract. They also help to assist in the transmission of various impulses from your nervous system. With a healthy dose of electrolytes and the tips below, you can fight back against dehydration while training, and keep your body in peak form.
Preventing Dehydration with Diet
One key way to make sure that you’re getting the right minerals into your body, and reducing dehydration, is to look at your diet. One of the top contributors to dehydration is a lack of potassium. If you drink a lot of sugar sodas and coffee, this can make potassium reduction even worse. On top of that, caffeine is a mild diuretic, which contributes to increased urine output, speeding up the dehydration process.
Think about how you can swap out your sugary and caffeinated drinks for water, and look for new ways to introduce potassium into your meals. For instance, bananas are packed with potassium, and they’re a great thing to take with you when you need a snack at the gym. Other foods that are rich in potassium include:
- Dark leafy greens (like kale)
Remember, you can also eat plenty of water-rich foods too, like watermelon, cucumber, and celery to help keep you hydrated when you’re snacking in between workouts.
Preventing Dehydration with Water
Drinking more water might seem like an obvious way to avoid dehydration, but there’s more to staying hydrated than you might think. As previously mentioned, you have to consider the loss of electrolytes. You also need to know how much water to drink.
The key here is balance. Too little water and you dehydrate your body – too much, and you suffer from negative effects like overhydration which can dilute the sodium in your blood. Staying hydrated when you’re working out is about restoring what you lose, so the requirements you’ll need to follow for water intake depend on your unique circumstances.
Ultimately, you should aim for eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day at a base level. In other words, you need one large glass of water every couple of hours in your day. Try making your own mantra for better hydration: “For more power, water every hour”. The more you exert yourself, the more water your body will require.
Additionally, make sure that you know when to drink. Most of the time, coaches recommend drinking two hours before a session, every twenty minutes during a session, and for a couple of hours after you’ve finished working out.
Preventing Dehydration: Know the Warning Signs
Finally, when it comes to preventing dehydration, make sure that you know the warning signs. For instance, if you notice any of the symptoms listed above while training–dry mouth, dizziness, or problems with your performance– then you could be suffering from dehydration.
Hindrances and abnormalities in your performance are a good sign that your body wants to remind you to hydrate. Listening to your body makes sure that you keep on top of your hydration issues, and maintain excellent performance. Remember, train with fluids close at hand so you can frequently reach out and grab a drink when you need to.
Of course, if you’re suffering from severe symptoms of dehydration then you might need to take a break from your training and rest for a few moments.
Hydrate for Performance
Ultimately, if you want to make the most out of your workout, then you need to know how to avoid dehydration. Dehydration stops your muscles from working as they’re supposed to, contributes to pain and discomfort during a workout, and ensures that you’re not going to perform as well as you could be. The more you focus on keeping your body hydrated, the more you’ll find that you benefit from a well-balanced and successful training routine.
Remember, keep your water and electrolyte levels high, watch out for the signs of dehydration, and keep an eye on your diet. With proper hydration, you’ll be able to Become Unstoppable with fully optimized training sessions.