Did you know that slight dehydration can diminish the performance of even the most well-trained athlete, either in the gym or the playing field? What’s more, serious dehydration can increase the risk of muscle strains, ligament sprains, concussions, asthma attacks, and heat-related illness.
Symptoms of Dehydration
The signs and symptoms of dehydration range from minor to severe and include:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth and swollen tongue
- Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
- Sluggishness fainting
- Inability to sweat
- Decreased urine output
If you or your workout partner are suffering from dehydration begin to take in fluids and consult a doctor. Dehydration is serious - don't ignore it.
Is water the best drink for a workout?
In most cases water is the perfect drink for a workout. Unless your workout is
continuous and prolonged beyond an hour, sports drinks give no additional benefit over water. Sports drinks contain 5-8 per cent carbohydrates as well as necessary electrolytes. Apart from the commercially available ones, sports drinks can be made at home by diluting fruit juice 2:1 and adding a pinch of salt. If the workout is moderately intense and under an hour, cool water is better absorbed in the gut and is therefore preferred over lukewarm or warm water. Beware of consuming concentrated juices or beverages immediately before, or during the workout, as it can cause nausea, abdominal bloating and discomfort or abdominal cramps.
So, to maximize performance and safety in the workout, drink up.
Tips for staying hydrated
Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Purchasing bottled water is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste. Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it instead.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
Be sure to drink water before, during, and after a workout.
When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight-loss plan. Some research suggests that drinking water can help you feel full.
Water is of the utmost importance, it must be consumed daily in order to survive. Even though most of us have gotten so used to it and don’t really bother giving it a second thought we should always keep in mind that we are over 70% water and we should always protect it.