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Dehydration Symptoms

Dehydration Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

Dehydration symptoms can vary from one person to another but one of the first signs you are dehydrated is thirst, it needs to be realised here though at this stage you are already up to 2% dehydrated. It is also important to take into account that as we approach 50 years of age, the thirst sensation will diminish, and continue to diminish, so as we get older we can rely on this sign less and less.

As little as a 2 percent drop in body water results in a measurable reduction in athletic performance, in some instances a decrease by up to 20% as well as affecting mental concentration in everyday activities.

As we push towards a 5% decrease in hydration and beyond you can start to experience the following symptoms of dehydration:

  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • appetite loss
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • discomfort
  • muscle cramps
  • increased thirst
  • loss of focus
  • reduced urine output
  • Seizures (in extreme cases)

Effects on Athletes and Physical Performance when Dehydrated

Being aware of the symptoms of dehydration is important so treatment can be initiated swiftly but it is important to keep in mind what effect being dehydrated can have on the body’s performance.

As an athlete or a physically active individual dehydration can cause significant loss in performance. When you are not properly hydrated your total body water volume is low which means there’s less blood available for circulation and less fluid available to muscles and body tissue.

As your blood is responsible for the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your tissues when there’s less blood available for circulation, this delivery to working muscles is diminished.

The average human loses close to 2 litres of fluid a day during normal activity from breathing, sweating, urination etc. Add in your daily exercise routine to this equation and you can see how quickly we can become dehydrated.

As the body is an amazingly efficient machine it knows that it needs to keep the vital organs, the brain, heart and lungs for example, hydrated above everything else. So as we become increasingly dehydrated if not rehydrated quickly it starts removing fluid from other parts of the body to keep these vital organs sufficiently hydrated, in extreme cases to prolong life.

So as the fluids are removed from muscles, joints and other tissues all these cease to work efficiently and create problems including reduced performance and injury.

Having these all well hydrated means everything can smoothly operate, allowing nerves to properly slide through muscles, skin to slide over bone and other tissues to slide past each other. A dehydrated body is one of the factors that restricts the movement and in a way glue these tissues together, limiting proper movement of muscles and joints.


Blood Volume when Dehydrated

Among other symptoms of dehydration, one of the most important is a reduced blood volume, blood is responsible not only for delivery of oxygen and nutrients as mentioned above but also for the removal of wastes.

Low blood volume diminishes the body’s ability to remove wastes such as lactic acid produced from the aerobic metabolic process during exercise or increased activity.

Reducing the body’s efficiency in removing these wastes such as lactic acid decreases an athletes lactic threshold therefore reducing the physical performance of an athlete.

When we are well hydrated the blood volume that accepts this lactic acid leaving the muscles is larger and more resistant to pH change, in common parlance, “the solution to pollution is dilution.”


Use SOS Rehydrate to Treat Mild to Moderate Dehydration

It is not just athletes that may have an increase in fluid loss which could lead to being dehydrated, any normal person in the right circumstances such as hot or humid conditions can suffer from dehydration.Regardless of the cause and or if you are an athlete or not, we can be certain that being dehydrated will result in negative performance outcomes and reduced mental function.

SOS Rehydrate can help with small-to-medium levels of dehydration but for severe dehydration symptoms, please do see a doctor.

When you’re dehydrated, you’ve lost electrolytes as well as fluids. That’s why water alone isn’t always enough, and that’s where SOS Rehydrate comes in. SOS provides the perfect balance of electrolytes to get you hydrated and feeling great again. 

Sources – Advanced Sports Nutrition – Dan Benardot, Ready to Run – Kelly Starrett

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