Dehydration is a common and dangerous condition that can seriously affect your health. It's important to understand the dangers of dehydration and how to prevent it, especially in hot weather or during strenuous activities. Electrolytes are an essential part of preventing dehydration, and you should make sure you're getting enough electrolytes if you're at risk for dehydration.
Dehydration happens when we lose more water than we drink. We lose water in various ways, including sweating, urinating, and breathing, to just name a few. However, sometimes we lose more water than usual as a result of exercising, exercising, especially in hot climates, illness with diarrhea and vomiting, and even a night out drinking alcohol. Losing water and, in turn, losing electrolytes hinders your body from doing the things it needs to do. The only way to treat dehydration is by replacing the lost fluids and electrolytes.
Effects of dehydration.
Even a minor deficiency in water could significantly influence mood, athletic performance, and alertness. Dehydration is defined as losing bodily fluids and critical ions (blood salts like potassium and magnesium). It simply implies that your body lacks the necessary amount of water and electrolytes, interfering with regular bodily functions.
It is easy to become dehydrated, and you do not need to run a marathon to do it. It's crucial to replenish fluid losses throughout the day since you lose roughly two to two-and-a-half cups (450 to 600 ml) of water while going about your daily activities. Coffee, tea, and soft drinks are not recommended. These drinks have a diuretic impact (meaning they cause you to lose water) and raise your daily hydration needs.
The effects of dehydration can be different from person to person. However, some of the common symptoms include:
- Headaches: Whether staying out in the sun on a hot day or forgetting to drink water can leave your head throbbing.
- Muscle Cramps: When exercising, we lose water and electrolytes through sweat. This contributes to these muscle pains.
- Impaired Ability to Exercise: When we are dehydrated, our exercise performance dwindles, making us tire quicker.
- Weight Gain: Dehydration does not only impede our exercise ability, but it also hampers our efforts to lose weight.
- Fatigue: The best way to wake up is with a refreshing glass of water and combat dehydration as it contributes to tiredness.
- Poor Skin Health: When your skin is well-hydrated, it possesses elasticity, which, if dehydrated, can become dull, dry, and even lead to sunken eyes.
How can electrolytes combat dehydration?
Electrolytes are little miracle workers in the body. Electrolytes are essential minerals that aid our daily health. These minerals are vital to maintaining healthy daily functions, such as movement and cognitive function. Electrolytes help with hydration by directing water and other nutrients to the area of the body where it is needed the most while keeping the fluid levels within the cells balanced. Electrolytes also aid in muscle function and the transmission of nerve impulses from the nervous system to the different body parts.
Drinking water daily is the first step to combatting dehydration. More often than not, especially after strenuous exercise, water is not enough to replenish the lost electrolytes. Electrolyte beverages are supplemented with minerals that assist healthy bodily functioning, whereas plain water contains just trace levels of electrolytes. Fortifying your daily water intake with an electrolyte supplement aids in making sure you’re getting the correct minerals that will help you maintain a healthy electrolyte balance. Electrolytes can be found in drinks like coconut water and oral rehydration solutions such as electrolyte supplements. Not all electrolyte supplements are made equal, some are perfect for everyone, while others are high in sugars or lack a certain mineral. It’s important to use a supplement that contains a good ration of minerals, not just sodium and potassium.
A balance of ALL electrolytes is necessary to maintain optimal hydration and endurance. You lose sodium in sweat, but you also lose other critical electrolytes like magnesium, and since most people don’t get enough magnesium, serious deficits can occur.
Regular water and sports drinks will not be enough to fulfill your body's hydration and electrolyte requirements. Plain water (even packaged "mineral waters") lacks a significant quantity or balance of the necessary electrolytes you need to keep hydrated, restore electrolytes lost via sweat, and perform at your best. When it comes to sports drinks, the high sugar content of most of these beverages can create bloating and stomach cramps, compromising your hard-won training and performance just when it counts. Look for a well-balanced electrolyte supplement, such as Keppi, to help you restore those lost electrolytes and fluids.
So what can you do to prevent dehydration and stay safe in the heat? Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, before, during, and after strenuous activities. Electrolytes are also important, so make sure you're getting enough electrolytes either through quality supplements or foods. And finally, be aware of the signs and symptoms of dehydration so you can get treatment if necessary. Stay safe out there!