Friday, July 29, 2016

Hydration - July 2016


Hot summer months and more activity outside means more sweating and water loss which puts us at risk for dehydration.  Whether you are a high level athlete or simply trying to feel energized and alert throughout the day, staying up on hydration remains very important.  Some potential effects of dehydration include:
·         Dry mouth
·         Sleepiness/tiredness
·         Dry skin
·         Headaches
·         Constipation
·         Dizziness/lightheadedness
·         Muscle cramps
·         Reduced athletic performance
·         Increased risk for injury
Some general guidelines and takeaways in regards to hydration:
·         Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to begin the hydration process, at that point it is too late and you are already dehydrated
·         Begin hydrating throughout the day before time spent outside or a sporting event, do not drink too much fluids immediately before an event as it can cause stomach discomfort
·         Focus on water as primary means for hydration – juices and sports drinks are unnecessary for most and contain high amounts of sugar and calories
o   With that being said, if you are an athlete participating in events lasting longer than 1 hour of intense activity, it may be beneficial to add in some sports drinks
·         A general guideline for how much fluids to consume per day is body weight in pounds, divided by 2, in oz
o   Ex: A 200 lb male would drink 100 oz (200/2 = 100)
·         The best way to determine how much water to drink is by weighing in before and after exercise or sporting events.  This should be done with minimal clothing. For every pound of weight lost replace with 24 oz of fluids
o   Pre-event weight: 200
o   Post-event weight: 197
o   Pounds lost: 3 lbs x 24 oz = 72 oz of fluid replacement
·         Monitor urine output – urination should be frequent throughout the day with no dark yellow or brown color or foul smell
·         Most importantly – listen to your body!  Any unusual symptoms of fatigue, cramping, or dizziness are more severe side effects associated with hydration.  Be proactive and prepare ahead of time, don’t allow these symptoms to arise in the first place.
Stay hydrated!
 - Dave Paczkowski, PT, DPT