How to Avoid Dehydration

Since this is coming from a personal training perspective we're obviously going to cover the importance of water intake along with exercise. However, dehydration doesn't just occur because we sweat too much. Your body loses moisture constantly throughout the day from sweating, breathing, urinating, and other forms of secretion that happen naturally throughout the day. Sweating doesn't just refer to the pool that accumulates underneath you from doing push-ups, but also happens periodically throughout the day, even when it's cold outside! A change in your environment will lead to a slight sweat that most times will hardly even be detectable, yet is still effective in using plenty of your body's liquids. Your body is made up of roughly 60% water, so clearly the importance of it is more than just to sweat. Water is the needed in every process in your body!

Once your body starts to lose water it will begin to send out a few "warning signs" that you can use to help let you know it's time to drink some more. Some of the beginning signs will include a dry mouth or fatigue. As your body becomes more dehydrated you will begin to experience headaches, faintness of breath, and an increase in irritability. Another way in which you can detect your body is becoming dehydrated is in the color of your urine. A darker amber-colored urine will generally indicate a lack of proper fluids in the body. Once you've reached this point in dehydration, it will be a hard battle to try to overcome without purging your stomach in water. That is why it is important to keep a bottle or vessel of water close by at all times and remember to drink from it periodically. A clearer or lighter yellow colored urine indicates that the body is being properly hydrated. Also, urination will typically happen more frequently whenever you are properly hydrated as oppose to not.

Along with a darker colored urine, there are many other processes that become affected within the body during dehydration. The cause however of the darker colored urine is due to the lack of filtration being done by the kidneys. Your kidneys need water in order to filtrate wastes out of your body. Whenever your kidneys don't have sufficient amounts of water, they try to squeeze water out of other resources and cells in the surrounding areas. This increased stress on the kidneys, due to lack of water, will cause your kidneys to fail to separate out and re-circulate compounds that it normally filters like oxalates and calcium. These two specific materials are the main ingredient needed to form kidney stones. Once a kidney stone begins to form it is only able to be removed surgically, by a laser, or by actually passing the kidney through urination. All are painful processes and could be avoided through simple regulation of water.

So how much is enough? That question can not be easily answered with a fixed amount. However, the 8X8 rule is a good start for any standard sized human being. The rule of 8 is simply, make sure you drink 8 glasses of water a day. This number is a minimum. For those weighing more, you will obviously need to drink more, and for those who regularly participate in exercise (hopefully this refers to you!) you need to be drinking water before, during, and after exercise in order to maintain proper fluid levels.

Also, the foods you eat can have an impact on how much water you should be drinking. High sodium foods, typically associated with mexican cuisine, will require more water in order to counterbalance the increased amount of sodium within your body. Your body is constantly regulating on the cellular level a balance between sodium, potassium, and calcium. The process by which these chemicals are regulated depends upon the osmosis of water between cells within tissues and your plasma. On the other hand, there are foods you can eat to promote hydration such as, watermelon, tomatoes, or grapes which are all mostly water based foods. The ingestion of these foods will give your body an added boost in water and help to protect you against dehydration.

Finally, some of the more serious effects from dehydration include a lack of performance for any athlete looking to obtain that extra edge, and in sever cases can lead to a trip to the hospital or even a stroke. To avoid these serious, harmful, and expensive products of dehydration, and to ensure that you are at your best whenever you are on the field or in the gym, stick to the most abundant and cheapest resource this world has to offer.


Fit Tips

The phrase made known by our Constitution has become a popular one recently through the media. Fitness experts and researchers are also focusing on the meaning of what it is to "be happy" and how that benefits not only your emotional and mental health but also how it contributes to better overall fitness and well-being. The pursuit of happiness is not only a popular movie or song title, it is one of the most enjoyable exercises you can integrate into your everyday life.