Hydration for Health and Performance
Dehydration: Causes and Symptoms
Understand dehydration, its causes and symptoms and treatment. Train with BOISE RunWalk and attend clinics each Saturday morning on this topic and more.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration is the loss of water and salts essential for normal body function
The basic premise behind dehydration is an inadequate intake of fluids resulting in the body losing more fluid than it takes in. The fluid/salt balance needed to maintain healthy cells and tissues can be seriously disrupted with dehydration.
Dehydration can occur in as little at 30 minutes of exercise, especially in hot weather. The body relies on sweating to dissipate the heat generated from working muscles. Sweating also helps to maintain our core body temperature. Allowing our core body temperature to be maintained within a safe range is a key element in preventing heat related injuries which may initially be caused by dehydration. The amount of sweating necessary to sustain heat loss during vigorous exercise inevitably will lead to dehydration unless adequate fluids are ingested.
Runners and Walkers beware!
Even the largest and best managed race courses have been known to run out of water and/or cups at an aid station, especially for the slower majority of runners and walkers. This is one of the reasons coaches recommend that you carry your water during a long distance event, and refill your water bottle at water stations, and drink to a fixed, practiced schedule. At each water/aid station, refill and drink.
Why people DON'T DRINK enough water?
Common reasons people don’t drink during the training season and target events:
- It will make me go to the bathroom too frequently
- Peeing causes lost time, especially waiting in line
- Drinking makes my stomach upset.
- I'm not thirsty
How much water do I need?
Key Hydration Topics
Don't take water for granted. Water is essential for regulating body temperature. When you lose water it should be replenished for general well-being and performance. Thirst is not a good indicator of hydration nor the amount and timing of your water drinks during your training for a long distance. If thirsty, you are already mildly dehydrated. Fatigue, heat intolerance, light headedness (dizzy) and seeing spots are symptoms dehydration.