Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

This week I was reminded of the importance of staying hydrated. Not only in the heat but during contest prep. The other day during my workout I experienced symptoms of dizziness, headache, and nausea. Post workout I felt sleepy, nausea and vomiting. I was drinking water during my activity but I was obviously dehydrated prior to my activities.

Why is it so important to hydrate? Drinking your daily dose of water is important for many reasons. Your body depends on water to survive. Water delivers nutrients to the body and assists your body with daily functions. Water helps to regulate body temperature. Staying well hydrated can improve sleep, mood and cognitive abilities. During physical exercise you lose fluids through sweat. Therefore it is crucial to replace those fluids while exercising to allow your mind and body to function at optimum levels. Water is the best choice to replenish fluids lost during physical activity. Without proper hydration your body will not perform at its highest levels.

How do you know if you are getting adequate amounts of water daily?

Here are a few signs and symptoms of dehydration:

  • Lightheadedness, headache, dizziness, sleepy, weakness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Feeling thirsty, dry mouth
  • Sweating may stop, dry eyes
  • Discolouration of urine, urinating less frequently
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle cramps

To prevent dehydration it is necessary to drink 8-10 glasses of water or more depending on activity levels, environment, temperature outdoors and health.

You may drink an addition 3 glasses of fluids from other sources such as, coconut water, coffee or herbal tea. Milk, sports drinks, fruits and vegetables are other acceptable sources for hydration. Staying hydrated will also maintain healthy skin and joints and help the brain function at its best.

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