It’s that time of year again – hot days, sunny afternoons, and tryin’ to get in shape for that dreaded bathing suit. Yep, with summer in full swing there are a lot of Rockheads out there gettin’ their summer workout on! While shedding pounds and soakin’ in the sun are both highly encouraged by this here caveman, it’s also important to play it safe – particularly when it comes do dehydration.
Dehydration is pretty simple enough to understand. When you’re losing more fluid than you’re taking in, you’re at risk of dehydration. It’s all about replacing those lost fluids! Common causes of dehydration include diarrhea, vomiting, fever, or excessive sweating. Anyone can become dehydrated, but it’s particularly dangerous for young children, older adults, and people with chronic illnesses.
Fortunately, dehydration is usually pretty easy to treat. You simply have to drink some fluids! Make it easy on yourself by simply carrying a water bottle to the gym or when you go out on a bike ride. If you’ve got water on hand, then staying hydrated is so easy even this caveman can do it.
If you experience severe dehydration, however, you’ve gotta get yourself over to a doctor for medical treatment. When it comes to dehydration, the smartest thing you can do is to just prevent it. Monitor your fluid loss in hot weather and make sure to drink a lot of water when you’re exercising to replace the water that you sweat out.
So how do you know when you’ve gotten dehydrated? There are a number of symptoms for mild dehydration:
– Dry, sticky mouth
– Sleepiness or tiredness
– Decreased urine output
– Few or no tears when crying
– Dry skin
– Dizziness or lightheadedness
If you’ve got the following symptoms, then you’ve passed the point of mild dehydration. You’re officially in the red zone and need to seek immediate medical care if you’re experiencing:
– Extreme thirst
– Irritability and confusion in adults
– Very dry mouth, skin, and mucous membranes
– Lack of sweating
– Little or no urination – any urine that is produced will be dark yellow or amber
– Sunken eyes
– Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity (doesn’t “bounce back” when you pinch it)
– Low blood pressure
– Rapid heartbeat
– Rapid breathing
– No tears when crying
– In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
Now you know the signs, but how much do you need to drink before, during, and after your workout? Well, check below to find out!
Before: Drink about 15 to 20 ounces of water one to two hours before working out. Sip another eight ounces 15 minutes before.
During: Sip six ounces of water every 15 minutes (eight ounces if exercising in extreme heat or you’re sweating buckets). If you’re working out for longer than an hour or in excessive heat, then sip Smartwater or a sports drink like Gatorade to replenish lost electrolytes. If you haven’t worked out that much, just have some water or coconut water. Sports drinks will just be more calories.
After: Weigh yourself before and after your workout. For every pound of water weight lost, replace it by drinking 16 to 20 ounces of water or sports drink. Another good way to monitor that you’ve gotten enough water is in the bathroom. If you have a large amount of light-colored urine, then you’re hydrated. If it’s dark, then you’ll know you need to drink more before, during, and after your workout.
Like I said before, the best thing you can do when it comes to handlin’ dehydration is to just stop it before it starts! Fortunately, we’ve got a number of helpful hydration products available in the Cave!