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Fitness, Nutrition

How Will I Know If I’m Dehydrated?

Get prepared for a hot summer in Alexandria, VA. Stock up on bottled water or get a reusable water bottle and carry water with you at all times. Staying hydrated is important. Knowing the signs when you’re dehydrated is just as important. Even if you carry water all the time, if you’re not drinking more fluid than you lose, it causes you to be dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration vary by individual. In older people, it can look like dementia.

You’ll feel exhausted if you’re just mildly dehydrated.

Don’t reach for a cup of coffee or caffeinated drink when your energy lags. Instead, get a bottle of H2O. That boost of energy you get from the coffee might come from the water, but it comes with side effects, such as shakiness and jitters. There’s a link between dehydration and headaches, just like the link between caffeine withdrawal and headaches. If you’re a regular coffee drinker and had your cup of coffee, that headache may not mean you need more coffee, but more fluid. Drink water instead.

If your lips are dry and chapped, you may be dehydrated.

When your mouth feels dry, you normally reach for something to drink. What about if your lips are dry or your skin isn’t as elastic as it should be? Those are both signs you need hydration. The skin turgor test is a common way to check for dehydration. Both doctors and veterinarians use it. For humans, the skin on the forearm or abdomen is pinched between the fingers and then released. If you’re dehydrated, it takes longer for the skin to return to normal position. In animals, the skin on the back of the neck is pinched instead of the arm or abdomen.

Low blood pressure and high blood pressure can be caused by dehydration.

If you feel light-headed and about to pass out, it could be from a drop in your blood pressure caused by dehydration. It causes there to be a lower volume of blood. When there’s not as much blood circulating in the veins, it can’t reach all the cells and tissues of the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients. Just like losing too much blood, it can lead to fainting. At the same time, it can lead to high blood pressure as a type of rebound reaction due to a high concentration of vasopressin. The body increases vasopressin if blood volume is low or sodium levels are high. Dehydration causes both. It also causes the blood vessels to constrict, which leads to high blood pressure.

  • One simple way to check for dehydration is to check urine color. Less urine and a darker color indicate you need to drink some fluid. The best color for the urine is pale yellow. If it’s clear, you might be consuming too much fluid.
  • If your wake-sleep cycle is off, it may be due to dehydration. There’s a link between dehydration and shorter sleep cycles, leaving you tired the next day.
  • Dehydration can affect cardiac output. It affects the left ventricle primarily and can reduce the effectiveness of an intense workout on a hot day. You won’t have the energy to do your best.
  • Your mood can help you identify dehydration. Dehydration also affects your focus, concentration, and memory. Avoid it by sipping on water throughout the day.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

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