Why Staying Hydrated Matters
It is vital to always remember that staying hydrated is a very important part of everyday life, and without it, we are susceptible to the many symptoms that can result. Water at its core, is what we require in order to combat dehydration, and we can often take this for granted without even realizing it. Many people substitute water with drinks that have more appeal such as various juice drinks and carbonated beverages, all of which may satisfy our thirst at the time, but include many artificial flavors and sugars. These don’t do the trick the same way that pure, clean water will. Another oversight is the fact that many people drink when they are thirsty, but simply do not drink enough liquid during the day. It is recommended that you drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.
For athletes, in particular, you need to consider that you also lose significant amounts of fluids in the body while exercising when sweating. Dehydration can have a huge negative impact on athletic performance and should be avoided at all costs. By making sure you are drinking lots of fluids beforehand, as well as during and after any exercise routine or sports activity is the safest, easiest and most effective way of ensuring that you are preventing dehydration.
So how can you tell you’re dehydrated anyway? Believe it or not, your urine is a great way to roughly gauge your level of hydration. The clearer you urine is, the more hydrated you are. If your urine is dark in color, you need to drink more! This is a result of your kidneys lacking water to dilute the urine, therefore is concentrated with body waste substances.
When you are dehydrated, your blood vessels will narrow in more which will cause a reduction in the blood and oxygen supply. Staying hydrated will reverse this process, often preventing symptoms such as a reduction in mental alertness, weakness, fatigue, headaches, dizziness or muscle cramps. Salts such as sodium are an important part of staying hydrated. The many sports drinks available today are marketed towards this idea, where they aim to replenish water levels, electrolytes and carbohydrates that you lose or burn during physical activity. Energy drinks are different in the way that they contain greater quantities of sugar and are generally not considered to be as good for you when working out.
Just remember to always be aware of your fluid intake, and which fluids you are taking whenever you are participating in an exercise program, and make sure you’re getting enough water intake in order to prevent risking problems that can occur, and ultimately, you will also feel much better as well.