How Can I Tell If I’m Dehydrated?

There’s a rule of three when it comes to survival. You can last three minutes without air, three days without water, in severe climates, three days without shelter and three weeks without food. Water is far more important than food. You don’t have to be completely without liquid to be dehydrated. A lot of things can create the problem, from diarrhea and vomiting to excess sweating. Dehydration symptoms can vary from moderate dehydration that can slow you down to severe dehydration that can be lethal.

Moderate dehydration can start with fatigue.

You might feel exhausted and think you just need sleep or a little coffee might boost your energy. While the fluid in coffee can help, just drinking a glass of water might be the key. It’s the quicker-picker-upper in many cases. Mild dehydration can interfere with your wake-sleep cycle, as well. Dehydration is associated with short sleep cycles, leaving you tired the next day. You’ll get tired quicker when you workout if you’re dehydrated, so it affects your workout negatively.

Dry skin with minimal elasticity and cracked lips are signs of dehydration.

Most people already know that a dry mouth means they need something to drink, but aren’t aware of the other symptoms. One simple way to check for dehydration is to grasp skin on the abdomen or forearm between your fingers for a few seconds and release. It’s called the skin turgor test. If you’re hydrated, your skin will go back to normal quickly, but if you’re dehydrated, the skin will take a long time to return to normal position.

Headaches and light-headedness or dizziness may be signs you need hydration.

Blood thickens when you’re dehydrated and causes blood channels in the brain to stretch, which is one possible reason you end up with headaches. Not everyone gets a headache from dehydration, some people are more susceptible than others are. It also causes low blood volume and that can lead to fainting You can also get dizzy.

  • Dehydration can negatively affect the functioning of blood vessels and even affect blood pressure regulation. It reduces cardiac output from the left ventricle and dramatically affect people performing intense exercise when it’s hot.
  • Check the color of your urine when you’re dehydrated. It will be darker and scant. The dark urine indicates the body is conserving fluid. It should be a pale yellow when adequately hydrated.
  • Dehydration can cause low blood pressure, but it also can cause high blood pressure. The low blood volume from dehydration causes the low blood pressure. In others, it can cause high blood pressure by increasing a chemical called vasopressin, which constricts blood vessels and causes water retention.
  • You’ll lose your focus when you’re dehydrated. It affects memory, mood and concentration. Severe dehydration, particularly in older people, causes confusion, anger and symptoms that may resemble dementia.

For more information, contact us today at Biofit Performance

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