Hydration is a key element in performance and recovery for athletes. The total percent of water in the human body is affected by how much body fat you have, as well as your age, gender, and health. However, on average the human body is about 45-70% water, which amounts to 40-45 liters of water in the body (165 x 8-ounce glasses of water!). There are two compartments that house this water, one is intracellular, inside cells where 62-65% of the water is found, and the other is extracellular, outside cells such as the blood and GI tract where 35-38% is found.
Whether it is hot or cold out, when you exercise you lose water through breathing, muscle contraction, blood circulating, and sweating. Most people know that lack of fluids and lots of physical training can cause dehydration, but did you know that traveling also causes dehydration?
Why traveling causes dehydration:
- People drink less water with the limitations around fluids and flying
- Anxiety and stress cause sweating and there is more body water loss
- The recirculated air on airplanes has 20-30% less moisture in it
- Air conditioning and sitting actually cause body temperature to rise, and people sweat more but the cool air masks this
Dehydration Symptoms and Effects on Body
Symptoms of dehydration often mimic other health issues or concerns. The degree of dehydration also determines the symptoms. Most athletes know that muscle cramps or fatigue can mean dehydration. But there are more symptoms that may be a sign that you are dehydrated that are not commonly recognized.
Comprehensive list of symptoms of dehydration:
- Weakness or decrease in performance
- Dark urine or decrease frequency of urination
- Brain fog
- Bad breath
- Chapped lips
- Elevated HR
- Difficulty with weight loss
- Urinary tract infections
How dehydration affects performance:
- Reduced sweating
- Reduced blood volume
- Inability to dissipate heat
- Increased core body temperature
- Increased muscle glycogen depletion
- Decreased blood flow to the skin
Performance begins to decline when you are dehydrated by just two percent of body mass. Losses in excess of five percent of body weight can decrease performance by about 30%! You can figure this out by weighing yourself before and after a training session. If you have lost more than two percent of your weight then you know you are not hydrating enough.
For example, if you weigh 130 pounds, then two percent of your body weight is about 2.6L of fluid. That means that at the very least, you would need to be drinking roughly ten glasses of water daily and that does not include what you take on during your bout of exercise.
Related read: Dehydration and its Effects on Performance, Human Kinetics.
Rehydrating the Body with IV Therapy
How fast does it take to rehydrate your body once you are dehydrated? It depends on how dehydrated you are. It is possible to rehydrate within forty minutes by drinking water with electrolytes in it. In severe cases of dehydration, drinking 1L/hour has been shown to work. However, rehydration can take up to three days, especially if you continue to exercise. If you are drinking water, studies show that you will hydrate quicker and more effectively by adding electrolytes to the water or eating and drinking water.
The fastest way to rehydrate is by intravenous therapy. At NatureMed, we offer various IV therapy options on our menu. To replenish your essential minerals quickly we offer mineral replacement which is excellent for recovery for those who sweat a lot, and after athletic endeavors. Our mineral treatment contains zinc, copper, manganese, chromium, selenium, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. We also offer B12, Vitamin D3, Iron, Myers Cocktail, and more. See all IV Therapy Options at NatureMed
If you are training for a race, getting ready to travel, approaching an athletic competition, or just wanting to perform optimally, you must hydrate! If you feel behind in your hydration or like you can never catch up or keep up, then consider IV hydration at NatureMed Clinic.
Contact us to schedule your IV therapy: 303-884-7557.