Dehydration is defined as a harmful reduction in the amount of water and electrolytes in the body. Dehydration causes a loss of energy, a decline in strength and coordination, as well as impaired reaction time. Your risk of orthopedic injuries increase when you are dehydrated as your muscles are less pliable and do not move as well. Muscle cramps and fatigue lead to heightened risk for muscle sprains, muscle tears and bone fractures.
Proper hydration is crucial as it improves your circulation, supplies nutrients and oxygen to your cells and helps regulate your body temperature. To maintain a proper fluid balance when exercising, you'll need to drink more water than usual to replenish what you lose through sweat.
Tips for proper hydration:
- Drink 20 ounces of water about 2 hours before you plan to exercise
- During your workout, drink another 8 ounces every 15 minutes
- Don’t stop drinking water once practice or your workout is done
- Plain water is best as most athletic drinks are full of sugar
Dehydration can cause you to become dizzy, disoriented, fatigued, or to develop headaches. Any of these conditions can decrease your ability to perform well on the field, leading you to be at an increased risk of injury. Listen to your body if you are experiencing dry mouth, dark urine, headache, muscle cramps, or dry cool skin chances are you are dehydrated. Usually, dehydration is easy to treat at home if you get out of the heat and drink plenty of liquids. Don’t wait until you're thirsty to drink, by then it is too late. Carry water with you throughout the day and set yourself up for success. You will feel the benefits of proper hydration immediately and experience better physical performance.
Dr Payam Moazzaz specializes in advanced minimally invasive spine surgery that enables faster recovery and return to active lifestyles. For all appointments and inquiries, please call (760) 904 5444 .