Dehydration And How Bad It Is For Your Body
Have you ever been in the middle of a warm up and felt like you were dying for a drink of water, or as soon as you break from the warm up you race over to your water bottle?
Chances are you are dehydrated.
There’s a nice little saying that goes ‘piss clear, piss often’. Any change in the colour of your urine is an indicator of dehydration.
Dehydration is a major contributor to injury, kidney problems, high cholesterol, constipation and a multitude of other health concerns that will not only affect you Jiu Jitsu but your overall wellbeing.
We require water to nourish the body, get rid of waste and regulate the important functions in the body. Our body comprises 75% of water and every human being requires a certain amount of water every day to survive. Where you live, age, and gender are some factors that influence the amount of water consumption. Here are 11 reasons dehydration is making you sick and fat.
Decrease in elasticity of ligaments and tendons – dehydration leads to the lack of elasticity in your ligaments and tendons leaving them prone to tearing or rupturing in sport. You could liken these as an old rubber band that breaks when tension is applied.
Kidney problems – A dehydrated body accumulates acid waste and toxins, which creates a breeding ground for bacteria. It makes the bladder and the kidney to be more prone to inflammation, infection and pain.
High cholesterol – Dehydration leads to an increase in the production of cholesterol in order to prevent loss of water from the cells.
Constipation – When there is shortage of adequate water in the body, the body draws water from colon to provide fluids for important bodily functions. When there is less water, waste moves slowly through the large intestine or sometimes not at all thereby leading to constipation.
Digestive problems – A lack of water and alkaline substances such as magnesium and calcium in the body can lead to a host of digestive disorders including gastritis, acid reflux and ulcers.
Fat accumulation – When dehydrated the body is unable to get rid of the toxins thus causing them to be stored in fat cells. Also, the body does not release the fat unless there is enough water in the body to safely wash off the toxins.
Affects organs – When dehydrated for long periods, the organs in the body, including skin, the largest organ starts to wrinkle and weaken prematurely.
Skin problems – Dehydration prevents the removal of waste through the skin and makes one susceptible to an array of skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis, and premature wrinkling.
High blood pressure – When fully hydrated, the blood in the body comprises 92% water. Dehydration causes the blood to become thick which restricts blood flow, and this result in high blood pressure.
Fatigue – Water is one of the principal sources of energy. Due to lack of water, the enzymic activity in the body slows down leading to fatigue and tiredness.
Joint pain – Joints contain cartilage padding made up mainly of water. Dehydration causes the cartilage to weaken. Joint repair slows down causing discomfort and pain.
Breathing problems – When there is not enough water, the body restricts the airways to preserve the water. This often leads to asthma and other allergies.
A general rule of thumb is to drink at least 2 litres of water a day. The average individual loses around 10 cups of water daily just by sweating, going to the toilet and breathing.
Another point to keep in mind is that most people substitute water with coffee, tea, alcohol and other beverages not realising that the natural thirst in the body is a sign that it needs plain water. Although these beverages comprise of water, they also contain caffeine, sugar, alcohol, chemicals and artificial sweeteners that act as strong diuretics. In some instances, these beverages cause you to be more dehydrated.
Anytime you have a training schedule programmed, you should aim to drink a minimum of a half to one litre of water an hour prior to the session. This way you will be guaranteed to be partially hydrated at best.
You should always have a full water bottle on the side of the mat ready to go so as you sweat and expire, you will be able to rehydrate. On the completion of class, look to drink your fill once more in an attempt to rehydrate post exercise.
The use of electrolytic products such as ‘Endura’ are fantastic to use as they assist in replenishing carbohydrates and elements such as magnesium, potassium and sodium.
At the end of the day, we should always be drinking water for our health even more so if you are active.
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