We all know how important hydration is whilst exercising, but do we know the dangers of what happens when we’re dehydrated? We’ve listed just some of the dangers of dehydration, and some handy tips of how to avoid it so you can keep performing at your best.
A recent survey by the National Hydration Council found that 1 in 10 cases of people seeing the GP for tiredness and fatigue have been linked to dehydration. However for athletes, fatigue can be very bad news – it can massive impacts on performance. When dehydrated, the loss of fluid causes a drop in blood volume, this means that your have to work harder for your heart to push oxygen and nutrients through the bloodstream to the brain and muscles, causing muscle fatigue.
Similarly to fatigue, dehydration can also cause confusion. This can be problematic if you take part in exercise where focus plays a key role. So if you’re a tennis lover, you might want to drink some water and have a sachet of Totum before starting your set – just like Rafa Nadal does.
A loss in electrolytes can cause muscle cramps. You lose electrolytes through water in your sweat, so the more dehydrated you become, the higher your electrolyte losses are. Electrolytes such as Magnesium are vital in the role of preventing cramps, however supplementing with just one electrolyte can cause imbalances in the body. You need to supplement with all 78 electrolytes to combat these imbalances – read more about that on our Science page.
How to avoid it…
- Make sure you drink enough water during exercise.
- Take a sachet of Totum Sport before, during and after exercise. Totum Sport helps your cells hold onto the water, which maximises hydration.
- Try not to exercise in extremely hot and humid conditions, as this can make dehydration much worse!
- Drink before you’re thirsty. By the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, as thirst only kicks in at a 2% loss of body weight.
- Avoid sugar-laden energy drinks, as these can give you cramps or upset the digestive system.