Drinking water is not enough to avoid dehydration when exercising.
Dehydration is more common than what we think, specially during summer months. We keep drinking water and our body keeps sweating, thus, eliminating more salts and minerals. As a result of this lost we are dehydrated increasing our fatigue and body exhaustion. A combination of salts and minerals, such as sodium, potassium and magnesium is very important to replenish all those electrolytes that we lose when sweating. These electrolytes
are responsible to regulate our body's temperature, without them our body's temperature keeps increasing , unable to cool down and regulate mental and muscle fatigue.
If you don’t drink enough fluid:
- Your body temperature and heart rate may rise. That’s because when the total amount of water, salts and minerals in your body is below normal level (hypohydration) your body can’t properly regulate heat.
- You may feel more fatigued than usual as your body is overheating.
- You may not be able to think clearly – your motor control, decision-making abilities and concentration may be impaired.
- Your body’s functions may slow down – this includes gastric emptying, so you may feel uncomfortable in your stomach and intestines.
- Your performance in sport or exercise may not be as good as it could be. The impact is even worse when you’re active and dehydrated in hot conditions.
Our cells need water in order to synthesize energy. This is especially important if you are going through a tough workout.
The basic form of energy that our muscles need to function correctly is called adenosine triphosphate: ATP. When we are exercising, our bodies work to convert nutrients like carbs, fats and vitamins into ATP through both anaerobic (without oxygen) and aerobic (with oxygen) processes. We can only store a small amount of ATP in our cells, so our bodies are constantly synthesizing more to keep fueling our movements. When we work out, the amount of energy our muscles needs increases, therefore synthesizing ATP is even more important.
The food we eat is what is broken down and converted into ATP, the process can’t happen without water. One of the main systems in our bodies that creates ATP is called the citric acid cycle, or Kreb’s cycle, when we are dehydrated, the Kreb’s cycle cannot work properly to create energy. This can leave you feeling tired and fatigued (during your workout and also during the rest of the day)
When you have less fluid(water and electrolytes) in your body, your heart has to work even harder to pump blood.
Your body needs fluid to keep blood volume up to function.Blood volume, which drives all pressure in the body, is primarily fluid based. If we start losing enough fluid, cardiac function is going to be suboptimal. When your blood volume drops, your heart has to beat faster to try and circulate the same amount of blood throughout your body.
DEHYDRATION WILL MAKE IT HARDER FOR YOUR BODY TO REGULATE ITS TEMPERATURE. LEADING INTO EXTREME FATIGUE
When we exercise, several organs of our body fight for fluid, our skin is trying to cool the body down, and it needs fluid to sweat. Muscles need blood to carry oxygen and nutrients, and also to remove waste products. As we said before, heart needs blood to maintain cardiac output. If you’re dehydrated and your blood volume is reduced, it can’t meet all of these demands—all these mechanism are set to balance your body's temperature, so if fluid is reduced your body loses the ability to regulate its temperature. If you’re exercising in a cool environment or you don't sweat too much (always have in mind, that we all sweat, even if you don't notice, it doesn't mean you need to be covered in sweat to be losing fluid), that’s not a big problem. But the more intense the exercise and the hotter the environment, the more your body needs to sweat, so the greater impact dehydration will have. “Ultimately, the body will prioritize cardio function meaning that your muscles wont move as efficient and your performance will be reduced. If you fight through it without slowing down or rehydrating, you can end up overheating and collapsing. A very normal consequence is that you can fade or lose sight, therefore falling or getting dizzy. Normally, people who suffers a common dehydration, their body in order to protect itself, will just reduce its intensity in order to be able to function properly avoiding collapsing.
If any of you attended or watched the CrossFit Games in 2012-2014 or the past Olympics, you could witness many cases of dehydration due to high temperatures and a suboptimal hydration routine. Most of these athletes where just drinking water during +1h, which leads into an even high electrolyte depletion, as your body keeps sweating and eliminating fluid(see above for fluid imbalance consequences) . Many athletes were having cramps, even fading during the event or just right after it. Some had to abandon or spend a full night in the hospital. While some others didn't even feel any negative consequence.
Why some athletes didn't have any negative effect under the same conditions: high temperature and long events
Simple, an easy way to counteract against fluid imbalance is to drink water with electrolytes(salts and minerals) there are many ways to do it, but we recommend the most effective and tasty isotonic drink in the Market: HydraForce™️
When you only drink water and exercise under heat temperatures or simply sweating constantly, you are just helping your body to sweat more and eliminate more salts and minerals, instead you should help your body to replenish all those electrolytes that are been expulsed.