We all know dehydration happens when the body loses more water and fluids than it’s consuming. But how many people are really aware of when their bodies begin to suffer the effects? We lose about four to nine cups of water every day; when we breathe, sweat, and urinate. According to webmd.com, we also lose a significant amount of salt (sodium) throughout the day, which can add to dehydration and lead to painful muscle cramps.
So what really happens when we lose too much water? Is it always easy to know when you’re dehydrated? And is it easy to reverse the effects?
Ways To Avoid Dehydration
When it comes to hydrating your body before sports, eatrightontario.ca suggests drinking at least 1-2 cups of fluid 2 hours before exercising or playing sports. Drinking water after sports is also extremely important, and experts suggest that you drink low fat milk, chocolate milk, and 100% pure juice. (Check out the benefits of Cool Cane sugarcane juice here)
What Happens to Your Body When You’re Dehydrated
Sometimes it’s just too late; your lips are dry, your skin is flushed, and your head feels too heavy for your body. If you can’t fight off dehydration while exercising, the affects can really obstruct your athletic performance. When our bodies don’t receive enough fluids, our blood volume plummets along with our blood pressure, causing our heartbeat to quicken. Dehydration can also cause piercing migraines that are accompanied by nausea and dizziness. It can even lead to fatal complications like seizures and blood clots.
These are unfortunately all dangerous complications of dehydration that everyone wants to avoid. Thankfully, there are some signs to watch out for.
How to Tell When Your Body is Lacking Fluids
It may seem like dehydration is an easy condition to identify, but the truth is, there are serious symptoms that can sneak up on us without us even really knowing the true cause. Some surprising indications that you could be dehydrated include:
1. Having dry skin: Although sweating is a symptom of dehydration, there are various stages to keep in mind. When you become very dizzy, it’s usually accompanied by low blood volume and dry skin.
2. Fever and chills: In extreme cases, you could become feverish and get “the chills”. Definitely seek immediate medical attention if you have a fever of over 101°F.
3. Craving the sweet stuff:You may have an uncontrollable urge to eat sugar or junk food, but it could actually be your body telling you something different; your organs can’t function properly without adequate water and fluid, so your body is trying to tell you to eat foods with lots of water, like strawberries and peppers. Your body is likely having a difficult time releasing glycogens, making you crave foods with energy.
4. Muscle cramps: When your muscles react to heat, it can result in a painful cramp. Unfortunately, if your muscles are working overtime, the heat they produce can actually force them to seize up. Having low electrolytes, sodium and potassium can also lead to unpleasant cramping.
In 2013, CBS reported that 75 percent of Americans are actually in a chronic state of dehydration. With all of the side effects and symptoms listed above, it’s important to take note of this torturous hell that can be caused by lack of hydration and take steps to avoid it for the sake of your health.
60 percent of our bodies are made of water; our brains are 85 percent water, and our muscles are 75 percent. So, when we are suffering from chronic lethargy and confusion, the cause shouldn’t always be such a mystery. Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones.
Remember to nourish your body, take care of your mind, and of course, always get a great night’s sleep.