The Importance of Hydration
After a delayed start to the Perth Summer this year, the furnaces switch has well and truly been flipped to ‘on’ and with a series of 38 degree days forecasted over the next few days, one thing for sure is that Muscle Pit is going to be hotter than Lucifer’s arsehole after a feed of Mexican.
So, before you self-combust while training or you turn yourself into a raisin inside and out, here are a few tell-tale signs that may help you recognise that you are sweating your way to dehydration doom.
Why is Water Important?
Before getting into the warning signs, I guess it is important to understand why water is important.
Apart from making up between 60 – 75% of our bodies composition, water is essential to maintaining blood volume, regulating body temperature and allowing muscle contractions to take place.
Once dehydration has set in and steps aren’t taken to rehydrate, the body will slowly begin to shut down, eventually causing problems such as kidney stones, kidney failure, seizures and brain swelling.
However, there are a few warning signs your body will give you before you get to that stage…. Some are obvious others really fkn obvious….
9 Dehydration Symptoms:
Increased Thirst – Yep pretty obvious – It’s just your body’s way of urging you to drink.
Dry Mouth – This is an early sign of dehydration that includes dry or cracked lips, difficulty swallowing and a tongue that sticks to the bottom of the mouth.
Fatigue/Weakness – Feeling tired or sluggish before or after a workout may be due to a lack of water (on another note If you have had a heap of water and feel sluggish you may have adrenal fatigue which also causes dehydration).
Headache – Dehydration will bring on headaches so instead of popping a Panadol try drinking some water.
Difficulty Urinating/Pooing – Haven’t been for ‘number ones’ for more than 8 hours or those poos aren’t slippin’ and a sliddin’ out and it feels more like you’re giving birth to a baby rhino…. Try drinking some water.
Urine Colour – Rule of thumb the darker your urine the more dehydrated you are – urine should be clear or have a slightly yellow tinge.
Nausea – Probably the last thing you want to do when feeling this way but again drink some water.
Dizziness/Fainting – light headedness and vertigo are generally caused by a lack of blood in the brain… you may also find it harder to make decisions or concentrate.
Rapid Breathing/Heart Palpitations – when things are getting critical on the dehydration front the heart rate will rise and the breathing will gather pace.
The obvious way to prevent dehydration is to ensure you drink plenty of water before, during and after exercising. That said room temperature water digested absorbs a lot quicker through your stomach lining than cold water however cold water helps reduce your core temperature faster, tastes better which will encourage you to consume more.
There are many differing opinions on how much water one should intake daily. From what I’ve researched you should drink 33mls per kilo of body weight ie 108kg x .033 = 3.6litres.
From all accounts, it’s better to drink too much than not enough.
For faster recovery add sea salt to your water – it has more minerals and nutrients than the than the processed white table salt.
As the salt, along with the water gets absorbed into your blood stream it triggers your body to want to drink more bringing your blood volume back up to normal quicker.
Salty fluid also slows down the urge to ‘piss like a race horse’ when consuming a large quantity of water which helps restore optimum levels quicker.
Sip about 250mls of water during your work outs every 15 to 20 minutes, this will make it easier to rehydrate at the end of the workout as there will be less lost fluid to replace.
Stay away from drinks with Caffeine ie Diet Cokes etc… Caffeine is a diuretic and for the record so is alcohol.
Drinks with sodium and potassium content like Gatorade, Powerade and Lucozade are better than the caffeinated and taurine based drinks but they are not the best – your local sup store should be able to help you out with an effective intra workout drink. If you are a Muscle Pit fan check out the team at Hybrid Sports Nutrition I’m pretty sure Dan, Jake and Kevin can get you on to the good stuff at a super affordable rate.
Eat more electrolyte rich foods (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate) such as apples, green beans, limes, lemons, oranges, squash and tomatoes.
If you are training balls to the wall in this hot Perth heat… and your body is heating up like an old Holden radiator, you should make a conscious, determined effort to drink extra fluids and take in additional electrolytes before after and during your session.
In the 2 to 3-hour period following a dehydrating bout of training, try to drink at least one and a half times the weight of the water you lost during exercise.