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What is Dehydration? How to prevent?

Tuesday, September 7, 2021


Fluid loss that occurs as a result of non-replacement or incomplete replacement of fluid lost during or without activity creates greater problems for individuals than you think.

Fluid loss is frequently seen in outdoor activities, long-term competitions (marathon, iron man, triathlon, pentathlon) and training of these competitions. Contrary to popular belief, sweating is not the only mechanism of fluid loss.

What is dehydration? question, fluid loss mechanisms, fluid supplements during and after exercise, fluid loss symptoms will address many questions, I will answer the questions.

How does dehydration occur?

Carbohydrates and fats burned during exercise cause body temperature to rise. Increased body temperature of superficial capillary dilation and sweating is tried to be removed.

In addition, increased heart rate and blood pressure cause the blood to drain faster than the kidneys and cause secondary fluid loss.

Along with these, a little game that our body plays on us is that our brain suppresses the feeling of thirst during exercise. Therefore, fluid intake during exercise should be done regularly and continuously, not depending on the feeling of thirst.

As I mentioned above, the loss of fluid does not just happen during exercise. Although there are many different mechanisms of fluid loss, the most common cause of dehydration in children and adolescents is gastrointestinal system (stomach, intestine) diseases.

The frequency of dehydrated patients admitted to the emergency department increases with the increasing number of gastroenteritis (stomach pain, an infection type with intense diarrhea) especially in the summer months. Diarrhea in these patients leads to rapid and high amounts of fluid-electrolyte loss.

Which groups should pay attention?

Only athletes will not dehydrate. Many more environmental and physiological factors can lead to fluid loss. Who exactly should pay attention to fluid loss?

Children and babies

Fast fluid change and children / infants whose weight / body area is smaller than adults lose fluid more quickly. Diarrhea is the most common cause of dehydration in this group. Diarrhea is one of the leading causes of child death in third countries.

Adults with chronic disease

Uncontrolled diabetes, heart and kidney diseases are among the major dehydrating chronic diseases. Fever rising with dehydration can mislead doctors in the clinic.

People living at high altitude

Depending on the height of people living in 2500 meters and above, the body increases the number of breathing and heart beats to meet the needs, depending on the amount of oxygen decreasing. For this reason, the amount of body fluid, kidneys and urine formed by evaporation with respiration increases.

Symptoms of fluid loss (dehydration)

Blood volume decreases with loss of fluid in the body. It decreases the blood flow to the peripheral organs and tissues and directs the blood flow to the more vital organs.

With the decrease in the amount of blood going to the skin and more external tissues, one of the main ways used to remove the heat formed in the body is closed. Therefore, body temperature starts to increase rapidly. During the ongoing process, the loss of fluid continues and if the volume gap cannot be completed, the heartbeat slows down and becomes superficial, fatigue begins to be felt seriously.

Even low levels of dehydration may cause psychological problems. Exercise performance of an athlete who loses 2% of his body weight decreases, whereas the decision-making mechanism of an athlete who loses 3-5% of his weight deteriorates, cramps occur and a decrease in exercise performance of 10-20% is observed.

In addition, the risk of edema and damage to the brain increases with dehydration in boxers.

If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, you should quickly review your fluid and electrolyte intake, identify your weight loss during exercise, and quickly replace it.

More detailed information will be given under the heading of dehydration treatment.

Dry and sticky tongue, oral mucosa,
Intense and thirsty feeling that does not diminish even though you drink water,
Decreased amount and darkened urine and constipation,
Headache,
Fast and superficial breathing,
Dizziness, dizziness and drowsiness.

To prevent dehydration

There are a few things to watch out for not being dehydrated

If you are sick and losing fluid, add extra fluid to your diet. Do not use sweet and acidic drinks (cola and similar) when you are sick. High sugar content and caffeine in some of them will cause you to lose fluid faster than you take. They also contain very little sodium (salt) and fail to correct your electrolyte loss. Clinicians always recommend the most natural drink of water.

Increased body temperature increases sweating. For this, you need to choose clothes that will transfer your body heat out quickly.

Check your urine output Increase your fluid intake in case of abnormal decrease or discoloration.

Coffee and tea have serious diuretic properties. Restricting your caffeine intake before, after and during training will help your body reduce fluid loss.

How much fluid should I take?

Sedentary people who live with sedentary lifestyle is recommended to drink between 2600-2800 ml (at least 2 000 ml) daily. However, the situation is slightly different in people who exercise.

During exercise, athletes lost 1.5 grams per gram is recommended to take additional fluid. This suggestion is difficult to follow and its implementation is very laborious.

For those who want to implement the method as follows.

Weigh with your laundry before the workout and note your weight. After the exercise, weigh again with your laundry and find the difference in weight. Multiply this weight by 1.5 and consume as much liquid as you find.

I have prepared a table for people who are doing sports to take fluids relatively easily and accurately.

500 ml of liquid 2 hours before exercise
200 ml of liquid 15 minutes before exercise
150 ml of liquid every 20 minutes during exercise
After the exercise, you should take 400 ml of liquid.
Do not meet your fluid needs with cold liquids. Cold fluids are excreted faster than the body and cannot provide enough benefits. It is best to use liquids that are cooler at body temperature or 3 to 5 degrees.

It is very important that you choose the right source if you are going to use sports drinks to complete fluid loss. Be sure to read the sports drink guide for detailed information and a recipe for sports drink that you can easily prepare at home.

Loss of fluid (dehydration): Conclusion

Fluid loss threatens the performance and health of athletes, but unfortunately many athletes underestimate. With simple precautions and follow-up, you can prevent fluid loss and complete the loss quickly.

Proper fluid management provides the basis for both healthy living and more enjoyable exercise.

So what’s the worst experience you’ve had with fluid loss? Please share with me through the comments.

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