Dehydration Is Killing Your Performance

Monday, February 25, 2019

Water is essentially the essence of life wherein all your body processes utilizes it for normal functioning of the body. Our body is approx. 70% is made of water Thus, hydrating our body is not the choice-It is essential!

Water has the following vital functions in the body:

  • Transportation of nutrients, wastes, hormones, enzymes, platelets, blood cells
  • Supplies oxygen to the cells
  • Protects the internal organs
  • Helps flush out harmful toxins
  • Lubrication of joints, digestive tract, food(saliva), mucous membranes
  • Regulation of body temperature. Promotes homeostasis
  • Helps in easy bowel movement
  • Helps maintain the structural homogeneity of body cells
  • Moistens tissue linings of the nose, mouth and eyes
dehydration-image

Dehydration in simple words is when our body lacks adequate water which is required for it to function properly. It can be mild, moderate or severe. Our body loses about 1.5 Ltr. to 2.5Ltr. water every day! Few amounts of water are always lost in our daily routine activities such as sweating, urine, defecation, saliva etc. Moderate to severe dehydration occur due to fever, Vomiting, Diarrhea and excessive sweating during intense exercise, excessive urination (use of diuretics, in diabetes) etc.

Our body is approx. 70% is made of water thus, hydrating our body is not the choice-It is essential! Our body loses about 1.5 Ltr. to 2.5Ltr. water every day! Replenishing this everyday water loss is essential to survive

The first question, is how do you know if you are Dehydrated? You will start experiencing symptoms such as-

  • Dry mouth and lips
  • Yellowish colored urine
  • Fatigue
  • Less frequent urination
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Confusion

Here, our focus is those Athletes, bodybuilders who get dehydrated due to intense workout resulting sweating!

Dehydration in Athletes

Sports related injuries are common due to dehydration. Dehydration is known to impair and athlete’s performance in most events, be it endurance sports, team sports, power and sprint sports or weight lifting!

In case of >3% dehydration in the body can lead to a serious problem that increases the possibility of a heat stroke in warm or humid conditions.

Everyone specially athletes should be aware that hydration is a critical aspect of intense training (before and after exercise!) and for the overall health and wellbeing. Staying hydrated should be a priority throughout the day and not after it’s too late.

Dehydration and athletic performance

Athletes usually sweat more than normal i.e. ranging 6%-10% of their body weight during competition and training session. If one gets dehydrated, it affects the overall performance in the following manner:

  • Increases body temperature
  • Lack of concentration
  • Difficulty in decision making
  • Increased rate of muscle glycogen use
  • Impaired coordination and skill
  • Reduced joint lubrication
  • Disorientation
  • Increase fatigue
  • Overall reduced physical and mental performance
dehydration-image

Now imagine how important it is to be rehydrated for us especially for an athlete! The best way is to be cautious of daily fluid intake.

For this, these hydration tips ought to help:

  • Make sure to have minimum 2 - 3 Ltr. Water every day that counts to be 34 ml/kg average adult body weight.
  • Remember the rule of urine color. Lighter the urine color the better is your hydration!
  • Modify practicing in hot, humid environment by choosing a right time or shed/indoor location
  • Weigh yourself before and after activity. An average loss of 1-3% of body weight indicated dehydration by thirst signal.
  • Beware for the for signs of decreased performance, feeling of thirst, dizziness, dry mouth, hot flushes and decrease in energy.
  • Try to sip water in the form of plain water, electrolytes added water, protein shakes, workout boosters, juices etc. throughout the training session.
  • Post training/workout replenish your body with water or whey shakes and sit in cooler/indoor/shed location.
  • Include a lot of hydrating foods such as fruits, vegetables, salads etc. in the diet.
  • Today’s hydration can also be easily taken care of primarily with water but depending on your type of activity, duration and intensity you can reduce electrolyte losses with the help of sports gels, sports drinks, whey proteins etc.

Making awareness in athletes is necessary to prevent the possible consequences of dehydration that in turn affects not only their health and wellbeing but also their overall performance.