Are you drinking enough fluids?
After a long day in the summer sun have you ever found yourself unusually fatigued? Did you find you were a little dizzy despite eating regular meals and resting? Had dry skin or have been very thirsty? You may have suffered from a minor instance of dehydration. When most people hear that, they assume you have to be doing hard manual labor or exercising vigorously in hot weather, but this is not always the case. Did you know swimmers can get dehydration even though they are exercising in water? Or that cross country skiers can suffer from dehydration even though they train in snow? Some common symptoms of dehydration are feeling very thirsty, dry mouth, dry skin, dizziness, tired, urinating/sweating less, and dark colored urine (Bhargava, 2020).
So how much water does a person need in a day? This depends on many things including gender, weight, pregnancy, breast feeding, weather, and activity level. The National Center for Biotechnological Information and the Institute of Medicine (IOC) recommends an Adequate Intake of 13 cups/3.7 L of fluid per day for men and 9 cups/ 2.7 L per day for women at rest (Popkin, 2010). This does not take into account any activity you may perform. Another easy way to calculate the amount of water you require: 1/2 your body weight in fluid ounces. (Shaw, 2009). Say if you are 150 lbs, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day. To see if you are on track through out your day you can visually check the color of your urine. A good rule of thumb is to see lemonade instead of mountain dew.
Many people ask what is the best drink to re-hydrate with. It really depends on the type of activity you are participating in, your energy output, and your own taste buds. You cannot go wrong with water. It’s easily available and cheap. There are many sports drinks available over the counter like Gatorade or Powerade. These drinks provide electrolytes and carbohydrates which you may lose when you sweat and are flavored which keeps you drinking more. These drinks benefit athletes working out during intense activities or ones lasting for a long time (Healthwise Staff, 2019).
If you find you still have cramping or fatigue after exercise or are tired or dizzy despite being hydrated? Let us help you perform at your highest level. Schedule your personal evaluation at Dion Physical Therapy by email: Jennifer.Dion@dionpt.com or Phone: 774-955-5830.
Bhargava, H. (2020, June 25). How Much Water Should I Drink Daily? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/how-much-water-to-drink#1
Healthwise Staff. (2019, May). Energy and Sports Drinks. University of Michigan. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/abo4575#:~:text=People%20use%20sports%20drinks%20to,lose%20electrolytes%20when%20you%20sweat.
Popkin, B., D'Anci, K., and Rosenberg, H. (2010, August). Water, Hydration, and Health. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/
Shaw, G. (2009, July). Water and Your Diet: Staying Slim and Regular with H20. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/water-for-weight-loss-diet#1