Dehydration can sneak up on you. Many people have to set reminders and alarms to ensure they drink enough water during a working day. The problem is only exacerbated when you’re engaged in hard physical labour or a draining work-out – as you work up more of a sweat you dehydrate yourself faster, and you also have to train yourself to ignore the discomfort of tired and aching muscles, making it more likely you’ll ignore your own need for rest, cooling off and a thirst quenching drink.
Today we’re taking a look at the signs of dehydration, so you know when to reach for the water, isotonic sports drinks or rehydration tablets.
If you allow dehydration to escalate it can become a very serious problem. As your body loses both fluids and electrolytes you can experience headaches and dizziness, mental fog and confusion. It can even lead to unconsciousness, as well as causing vomiting thanks to the nausea and dizziness among the list of other symptoms.
By the time you experience these warning signs it could be too late, especially if you’re out in the countryside, walking or running far from civilisation and help. You need to know how dehydration first manifests so you can spot it early and prevent the more serious effects.
Early Warning Signs
If you know the initial warning signs of dehydration you can solve the problem before it becomes a serious risk to your wellbeing.
The first and most obvious symptom of dehydration is thirstiness! It’s a good reminder to listen to what your body is telling you. If you feel thirsty, it’s time for a drink!
Dehydration can also cause a feeling of tiredness, and a ‘dry mouth’ feeling, both of which are also strong indicators that you need to rehydrate. The final important clue to look for is changes to your urine. If it’s darker coloured and you’re going four or fewer times a day, you may have an entrenched dehydration problem you need to solve!
Solving the Problem
If you’re on the way to serious rehydration, then merely drinking water may not be enough. You’ve not just lost fluid, you’ve lost the minerals dissolved in them: important salts called electrolytes. These are used by your body for lots of different processes, from maintaining the fluid balance in your cells to helping your nerves transmit messages and your muscles put them into action!
When you’re rehydrating, choose a sports drink or rehydration sachet that replaces those lost electrolytes as well as just the water you’ve lost.