Fitness Performance and Hydration: Why it Matters

Are you dehydrated? The answer may surprise you.

Here's the 411 on HSO. Despite the fact that medical professionals continue to remind us of the importance of drinking enough water, research shows as many as 75 percent of Americans may be functioning in a chronic state of dehydration. 75%, people. That's alarming. 

But is it really that important? I mean, we still get through the day and our workouts without satisfying our water goals, right? What's the big deal? Get ready, this is your body, dehydrated. 

This is What Happens to Your Body When You're Dehydrated

From mild to severe dehydration, this is what being parched on a regular basis is doing to your body.

Symptoms of Mild Dehydration

  • Fatigue
  • Headcahe
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Achey joints
  • Irritability and anxiety

Pretty bad, right? What's even more dangerous is that these symptoms often start out subtle and we learn to live with them. Have you found yourself contributing persistent headaches to stress or a lack of sleep? What about those nagging achey joints to a tough WOD? It might be time to log your water intake. 

Symptoms of Severe Dehydration

  • Low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat
  • Delirium
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting

This is Your Body on Dehydration, Long Term

Chronic dehydration has long-term metabolic impacts on your body. For instance, did you know chronic dehydration can lead to:

  1. Weight gain. Your metabolism is sluggish without water. One study found that drinking 16 ounces of water daily increases your metabolic rate by 30 percent. If that's not the motivation you need to drink more H20 I don't know what is. 
  2. Inability to feel full. Dehydration causes your body to confuse thirst for hunger. Not drinking enough water may cause you to eat when you don't need to. Can you say fitness and diet efforts saboteur?! 
  3. Lack of energy. Dehydration leads to constantly feeling tired, leading to lack of motivation. This is going to do little for your desire to maintain a workout schedule or perform at your best during a tough WOD.

It's time to drink up and take control of our water intake. Hydrating is as important as choosing the appropriate shoes for a workout, stretching, and proper body mechanics. You wouldn't show up in heels for Fran and you should never show up for a WOD dehydrated. Want to know exactly what dehydration looks like during a workout? The three most popular symptoms are coming to the blog next week!

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