This Friday, like every other Friday I was hitting the gym. Normally I go first thing in the morning, properly hydrated (from lots of water as soon as I wake up). But, this Friday was different. Spending an afternoon working, coffee-ing and not really drinking enough water, didn’t do my performance any favours.
I lacked energy and the grinding, clicking and popping of bones in my shoulders and elbows was disgusting. Not necessarily painful, but really off-putting.
Dehydration is the number one reason why you’re lacking energy, why your bones are clicking and why you generally feel just a little bit crappy.
Why is it important to stay hydrated?
Water is like the oil in a car, it keeps the whole engine ticking. Water is used to transfer blood and oxygen around the body. It’s even in your digestive system, keeping everything well lubricated and helping to secrete toxins, through sweat, when we exercise.
is really affected when you’re dehydrated. Your body is constantly using water to regulate your core body temperature. Unnecessary stress is being placed on the body when your temperature rises. Which is why, without the water to cool this down you will be causing your physical performance and recovery damage.
Excessive stress on your body through dehydration can also affect your blood pressure. Therefore water is a necessary tool in helping lower your blood pressure and normalising your heart rate, taking away more of the stress placed on your body.
Studies show that mild to moderate dehydration can influence your mood and energy levels. Therefore, making it harder to think clearly. Dehydration not only affects memory, learning and concentrating, It’s also common to get headaches/migraines, making concentration even harder.
If your brain is dehydrated it’ll start shrinking and coming away from the skull. Your brain tissue suffers through losing water, causing your pain receptors go crazy. That means, Dehydration will be the main reason for your hangover headache. Drinking a few glasses of water before going to bed will really help prevent them.
As little as 2% dehydration can leave you feeling cranky, tired and physically drained. Since dehydration may be what’s causing that sluggish, energy lacking feeling, It’s safe to say it’s probably the reason for your low mood and headaches.
Dehydration causes your body’s salt levels to be completely out of sync. Meaning your muscles are being starved of their necessary water. Due to this starvation, your muscles start becoming tired and weak.
The heart is a muscle. Just like any other muscle your dehydration is affecting it. Consequently, It can’t keep up when it is starving for water.
This is one symptom I’ve been noticing recently. It’s concerning. Water is the element lubricating all your bones, muscles and ligaments. Imagine a car or a bike chain without oil, they wouldn’t be running correctly and there would be constant grinding. Now, imagine that happening to your bones, horrific right? Water is also the main component in cartilage. When this is wearing away your body will be using it’s water supply rebuilding it. Without cartilage, your joints have less support and cushioning.
Dehydration causes your blood pressure to fall and your brain to shrink. These 2 things together are going to start causing dizziness. Dehydration-induced headaches and low blood pressure can cause your body to get that “light – headed” floaty feeling when standing up.
hydrating regularly assists with weight management. Because water works as an appetite suppressant you start eating less of what your body doesn’t really need, plus staying constantly hydrated means your body isn’t working harder storing water.
If one day you’d only had one glass of water, the next day your body would be very confused and start storing unnecessary amounts. Most of what you then drink is getting stored in your body and this can have a damaging effect when stepping on the scales. Regulating what you drink and making sure you stay hydrated 24/7 is important in stopping your body emergency storing.
Ever woken up in the middle of the night to a sharp pull on your calf muscle? I have and it is a pretty uncomfortable feeling. The muscle cramping I used to get in my lower legs and feet was surprisingly a result of dehydration. Due to a low level of water in your body, leading to a drop in salt levels, muscle cramps are born.
Feeling thirsty? You’re probably not hydrating properly. The thirst sensation doesn’t actually appear until you’re around 1/2% dehydrated. By this point your mind, performance and everything else is already slightly affected.
Hydrating is just as important for someone with an inactive job as it is for a personal trainer or someone who is constantly using energy. Though, how much they should be drinking can differ. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day is the minimum, but if you are very active and tend to sweat a lot, replacing water as soon as possible and keeping on top of your hydration is vital. Next time you go to the loo, remember to check the colour of your wee, anything more than a pale yellow colour is not good and means you need to drink a bit more.
Have your workouts suffered from not hydrating? Do you know any tips to stay hydrated? Comment below.