For the Body to Function Properly It Has to Remain Hydrated
Mercy Health Tip of the Week by Samantha Wilson M.P.M, AT, ATC — Mercy Health Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine
Proper hydration is essential when competing in sports or when completing everyday tasks. The human body is mostly made up of water. In order for the body to function properly it has to remain hydrated. In order to determine if the individual is hydrated urine output, pre-exercise body weight, and post exercise body weight, and thirst must be examined.
Types of Hydration:
- Normal Hydration
In order to distinguish these types, urine output can be the tell-all. If the urine output is clear with no hint of yellow it means the body is over-hydrated. If the urine output is dark yellow it means that the individual is not hydrated. Normal color for urine when the body is hydrated is the color of light lemonade. Dehydration is the most common problem for most individuals.
Hydration protocols must be in place for all exercise sessions. Taking a person’s pre-exercise body weight and post exercise body weight will determine their sweat output. If the post-exercise body weight is significantly less than the pre-exercise body weight (2% body weight reduction), then the individual should be replacing the fluids lost. Pre-exercise hydration should be approximately 500 to 600 mL (17 to 20 fl oz.) two to three hours before exercise. Post exercise hydration should be completed within two hours and can be monitored with urine output. For an average adult doing minimal physical activity, they require a minimum of 2.5 liters of water (or about ten glasses of water a day).
If exercise or daily activities take place outside, make sure to monitor the heat and the humidity. If both are high make sure to be taking plenty of breaks to rehydrate approximately every twenty minutes or so. This is to stop the body from becoming dehydrated. If someone becomes dehydrated they may have the following symptoms: thirst, dry mouth, headache, dizziness, irritability, lethargy, excessive fatigue, possible cramps, and decreased performance. Sports drinks could also be used to help combat dehydration as they contain carbohydrates and electrolytes that are lost during exercise. However, since the body is mostly made of water, try to rehydrate with water.
Following these recommendations will help keep the body hydrated in order for it to perform at its best. Keeping track of urine output, pre-exercise body weight, post exercise body weight, and thirst will help the individual from becoming dehydrated. Make sure to check the heat and humidity outside and to make adjustments to ensure that breaks are taken every twenty minutes for rehydration.
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* This content is not intended to replace any formal training plans directed by licensed coaches. You should always get your doctors go-ahead prior to embarking on any fitness regime. Mercy Health, Glass City Marathon and the Toledo Roadrunners Club are not offering this content to replace a monitored training plan. — Use this content as conversation starters with your doctors, nutritionists, coaches, etc.
Resources:(2000) National Athletic Trainers’ Assocation Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for Athletes. Journal of Athletic Training / (2009) Arnheim’s Principles of Athletic Training A Compentency-Based Approach (13 ed.)