How to recognize dehydration?

Jack Howard

When in summer the temperature outside is much higher and the sun is warming up, it’s much easier to dehydrate the organism than during the other seasons. It can be particularly dangerous to exercise under such conditions if we do not take care of the body's needs for fluids.

    The role of water in the human body

    Proper hydration is very important for proper functioning of the body.

    Water have many important functions in the body. First of all, it’s the main constituent of the body and can account for 45-75% of body weight. In an adult non-aboriginal person, her share is usually around 60%. In particular tissues, the water content may vary, for example the muscles contain 74-80% of water, about 80% of lungs, about 68% of liver, and about 25% of bones. Differences in water content in the body are related to age, gender, and body building.

    As adipose tissue only contains 10-20% of water, obese people have a lower percentage of water in their body weight. From a practical point of view this means that obese people have a weaker tolerance of toxins. Water content in the adult body should be kept constant, which means that the water balance should be zero. Only during growth and during pregnancy, a positive water balance is a physiological phenomenon.

    What is dehydration of the body?

    Dehydration occurs when the body loses more water than it gets. The source of water for the body is primarily beverages, but also to some extent food with a watery consistency - especially fruit and vegetables - may contain up to 90% water. Fluid intake is mainly regulated by thrist. Water losses are continuous. They are carried out through the kidneys and the non-human way. Even mild dehydration is not a desirable situation for our body. Dehydration is already defined as a loss of water at 1.5%. Meanwhile, when the feeling of water loss occurs, they may be 1 to 2%.

    How to recognize dehydration?

    One of the first signs of dehydration is the appearance of thirst and reduced urination. Urine usually becomes more dense and darker than usual. If we do not replenish the water deficit, the next symptoms appear. Among other things, it’s to stop sweat production - the same organism is unable to regulate temperature and overheats, muscle spasms, nausea and vomiting occur.

    In addition, there are problems with concentration, we feel tired, lack of energy, and may also appear pains and dizziness. Problems with the lack of adequate water in the body can also signal dry skin. As a result of ingesting too little fluid, there may be a problem with constipation.

    As a result of dehydration, appetite loss, irritability, physical weakness, movement concentration disorders, and organism poisoning are reduced as a result of decreased excretion of metabolic products along with urine.

    Symptoms of dehydration - infographic
    Symptoms of dehydration - infographic

    Why is dehydration happening?

    With a limited supply of fluids or insufficiently compensated high water losses, it first comes down to reducing plasma volume, increasing sodium concentration and increasing osmolality. If water resources are not replenished, water moves from cells to extracellular space to compensate for the concentration. The consequence of this is also intracellular dehydration.

    The risk of dehydration increases during hot weather. High temperatures are the most vulnerable to children and the elderly, as well as too obese and those who take diuretics. Contrary to appearances in the winter can also lead to dehydration. Significant loss of water then occurs as a result of heat transfer with steam while breathing.

    How does dehydration affect the health and fitness of an athlete?

    Dehydration has many adverse consequences on human health. The most common health consequences of dehydration include elevated blood pressure, drowsiness, chronic fatigue, vision problems. You may also have kidney problems, as well as cystitis. Strong blood densification due to dehydration in people with cardiovascular disease can lead to heart attack.

    Dehydration is also a very bad and dangerous condition for an athlete. Keep in mind that the need for water in athletes is much higher. During intense exercise, sweat expulsion is from 0.5 to 1.5 l/h. With a very intense effort in hot and steady day can rise up to 4l/h.

    Increased sweating is associated with loss of water and mineral salts, which in turn can lead to severe water-electrolyte disturbances. Dehydration within 2-3% of body weight decreases physical fitness. Consequently, training becomes less effective and regeneration is more difficult. As a result of dehydration, body temperature rises, oxidation of working muscles decreases, glycogen consumption is faster, and exercise capacity is reduced.

    Water deficiency of up to 5-8% of body weight results in further impairment of physical and mental performance. Dehydration at 2-4% results in a reduction in exercise capacity of up to 20-30%. By contrast, loss of body water in the amount of about 20% leads to death.

    Dehydration - summary

    In summary, do not forget to drink the right amount of fluids - preferably mineralized water, and during the exercise lasting more than 60 minutes - isotonic drinks. O dehydration is easier than it may appear, and its effects are neither pleasant nor desirable.

    Tags: dehydration, dehydration symptoms, hydration, isotonic, water

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