I spent the weekend in Death Valley and became dehydrated during part of the trip. Luckily, I knew the symptoms right away and was able to address the problem before it became worse. It has been pretty hot and humid here lately, so I thought it would be a good idea to post a refresher on what dehydration is and what it's symptoms are so you too can stay ahead of the hydration game. Here is an article that covers the basics so you can keep working hard throughout the remaining summer months!
The human body can only exist for 5-7 days without water, thus dehydration must be taken seriously. Just exactly what does dehydration mean? Medically, dehydration is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition in which the body contains an insufficient volume of water for normal functioning. To operate efficiently, most people say the body requires about eight large glasses of water per day, based on an estimate of fluid loss during a normal day. Even more water is needed during hot weather, periods of illness and when exercising. Many people simply do not take in this amount of water, preferring instead to get their intake of liquids through coffee, tea, sodas, beer or wine.
The problem is that most of these drinks have a diuretic effect which forces the body to eliminate more water than it is actually taking in – causing dehydration. In fact, some believe there is an epidemic of chronic dehydration in the US due to our caffeine and alcohol consumption.
Some symptoms of dehydration include:
Feeling dizzy and lightheaded • producing less urine and darker urine • anger, impatience • tiredness • flushed face • irritability • anxiety • depression • snoring • insomnia • short attention spans • cravings for coffee, tea, and alcohol (all diuretics).
The two most common signs of dehydration, a dry/sticky mouth or feeling thirsty – are not actually the first signs. When these 2 symptoms occur you are already dehydrated. In chronic dehydration a person may suffer from problems such as gastritis, heartburn, arthritis, headaches, depression, weight problems and even premature aging.
Dieting can also sap your water reserves. Beware of diets or supplements, including laxatives and diuretics, that emphasize shedding “water weight” as a quick way to lose weight. Losing water weight is not the same thing as losing actual fat. Remember, drinking water does NOT add calories to your diet and is great for your overall well being.
So what can we do to keep healthy and hydrated? Well, the good news is that these conditions may be alleviated or cured simply by drinking more water. People with normal heart and kidney functions should slowly increase their water intake by drinking two glasses of water one-half hour BEFORE each meal. Then two more glasses of water one to two hours AFTER each meal. Drinking water with a meal dilutes your ability to digest your food.
However, don’t overdo your water intake, which can also be dangerous. Rehydration needs to occur over time, not by overloading your system. The essential thing to remember is “little and often.” A small glass every hour throughout the day is far more beneficial enabling you to utilize the fluid appropriately instead of rejecting it through overload.
As an athlete staying hydrated is extremely important and by the time you're at the gym it is already to late! So drink enough water and watch your performance and health improve drastically!
Yep, high temperatures over the weekend ranged from 100 to 120 in different parts of the park.
Posted by Commish