As we start to have more slightly cooler days, it is easy to forget to hydrate. Also all the students heading back to school can forget to stay hydrated during hours of sitting in the classroom. Then students often go to practice sports after school when they haven't hydrated all day, and they have problems. Dehydration can lead to loss of strength and stamina. It is also the main cause in heat exhaustion. This week we are going to talk about easy warning signs regarding dehydration and tips to stay hydrated.
Dehydration Warning Signs
- Feeling thirsty
When you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated!
- Feeling tired/difficulty concentrating
If you feel tired and sluggish in the early afternoon, one cause could be dehydration! Remember that all that morning coffee you had acts as a slight diuretic (making you pee more and dehydrating you).
Many headaches are caused by dehydration, so if you feel a headache coming on, try water first!
- Back pains
The discs in your back rely on water to help with shock absorption. So as you get dehydrated, the little cushions between your vertebrae aren't quite as cushion-y. They can no longer absorb shock as well, and this can alter their function. Overtime this can lead to back pain.
- Dark urine color
Dark urine color is often a sign of dehydration
Your body needs water to help things move! From your joints to your bowels, water helps them move.
Tips to Stay Hydrated
- Drink enough water for your size!
We aren't all the same size, so we don't all need 8 glasses of water a day. Many of us need MORE! We recommend aiming to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. Ex: You weigh 200 lb, drink 100 oz of water. You weigh 150 lb, drink 75 oz of water.
- Keep a bottle with you at work/school and in the car
This one is easy - if you have water on you, you are more likely to drink it.
- Weigh yourself before and after long workouts
When you have a long workout, weigh yourself before an after. If you have lost weight in the course of your workout, it is likely due to water loss. Half a pound lost is roughly equal to an 8 oz glass of water.
- Add lemon for flavor
Struggle with drinking bland water? Add a few slices of lemons or limes or any fruit really! Adding lemon to your water can also give you a slight boost in vitamin C and help with digestion.
- Check your urine color
Don't go for the gold! When you go to the bathroom, take a peek down at the color of your urine. Ideally it is a pale yellow color. Darker yellow color is usually indicative of dehydration. Note: other things can alter the color of your urine. If you supplement with a lot of B vitamins, you may notice your urine is a more neon yellow. Also if you consume a lot of beets, you may notice a pink tint to your urine.
When You Need More Water
There are some times when you need more water! That's when this handy graphic from Fitness Jockey comes in to play. To learn more about these criteria, click on the photo to take you to their full article.
Any other questions regarding hydration? Let us know!