Every morning before I drop my son off at the sitter, I like to go out for a brisk run to clear my mind and prepare myself for the day ahead. Over the past week though, I’ve found myself feeling dizzy and sluggish mid-way through my workout. After returning from my jog, I realized my workout clothes were abnormally dry, and that I had not sweat as much as usual. Concerned, I did some research online about my symptoms. Turns out, I may have been exercising while dehydrated.
Why We Need Water
Almost 60% of the entire body is made up of water. Water can be found in your bones, heart, brain, lungs, and even your skin! Water allows the cells in your body to grow, reproduce, and survive, regulates internal body temperature, lubricates joints, helps deliver oxygen throughout the body, and many other vital functions. When our body does not have enough water, our body becomes out of balance. This is called dehydration
Dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving the body is greater than the amount entering it. More water is leaving the cells that compose our bodies than the amount taken in through drinking water. Water leaves the body every day through a variety of different exits. Water is lost in the breath we exhale, sweating from exercise, and from urine and stool. Salt levels are also decreased from lowered water levels in the body. Dehydration can cause a number of health issues if left unattended.
Symptoms of Dehydration
The symptoms of dehydration can range from mild to severe, depending on how much water you intake daily, and how much is leaving the body in excess. Mild dehydration can be resolved simply by drinking more water, but severe dehydration can be more problematic and can require professional medical care.
Mild to Moderate Dehydration symptoms:
- Dry Mouth
- Increased thirst
- Tired or Sleepiness
- Dry Skin
- Few or no tears
- Decreased urine output
- Urine is more yellowish than normal
The above symptoms can quickly worsen if left unattended, which can lead to severe dehydration. Symptoms of severe dehydration include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Poor skin elasticity
- Severe lightheadedness
- Decrease in blood pressure
- Severely decreased urine output; urine is a deep yellow or amber color
The best way to combat dehydration is proper prevention. Anticipate that your body needs water and will need more water in the future. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day as well as taking extra water to outdoor events, avoiding outdoor exercise on days with excessive heat, wearing light clothing outside, and avoiding long exposure to the sun. By drinking a healthy level of water each day, you can combat dehydration and continue about your day feeling safe and healthy. While you are keeping your body safe, it is also important to ensure that your water supply is also safe. Keep your body safe from harmful contaminants found in tap water by installing a water filter to remove these pollutants and provide your home with safe, clean, and healthy water.