Know The Effects Of Dehydration To Stop Them Before They Start

In most cases, knowing you're dehydrated is as simple as feeling thirsty. However, sometimes you might miss that feeling or your body will tell you in other ways. Health blog Greatist breaks down the common signs of dehydration so you can fend it off before it starts.

On top of being thirsty, your body also tells you that you might be dehydrated with:

  • Dry mouth
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Lack of urine

These signs aren't always in a particular order, which means you won't necessarily feel thirsty before you get a headache. The trick to keeping yourself hydrated all day? Drink water before the thirsty feeling starts. You know drinking water all day is good for you, but it's also good to catch dehydration before it hits. Dr John Mandrola explains:

Not enough summer exercisers start the workout topped off. Before I leave for a bike ride in the summer, I usually chug an entire bottle of water. Again, it's hard to drink that much fluid, but when going out in the heat for a few hours, your body will thank you.

The basic idea is that you drink water before you know you'll be thirsty. It's not just before exercise that matters. Even if you're just sitting around in a hot apartment or taking a stroll, a bit of water beforehand can help keep you hydrated and feeling fresh. Head over to Greatist for a full list of what happens and the best ways to prevent dehydration.

How Do I Know If I'm Dehydrated? [Greatist]

Photo by David Joyce.


Comments

    Especially in the summer my water intake goes through the roof -_-

    You can also experience clumsiness, impaired/blurry thinking, and severe general fatigue where everything just feels more difficult. If you find yourself tripping over your own feet, stumbling, tripping on obstacles frequently, etc it's a sign you need to slow down for a sec and get some water into you.

    Watch out, though. There's a flip side to dehydration that can be just as lethal, but is much less well known. I only know about it because my partner became extremely, dangerously sick because of it while on a rogaine (like orienteering).

    Hyponatremia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyponatremia, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001431/) is where a fall in blood sodium per volume leads to swelling of the brain and extremely serious symptoms. It's very dangerous, and you MUST know about it if you're in a sport where you have to drink a lot to keep going. If you keep drinking because you mistake the beginnings of hyponatremia for dehydration you'd better hope there's a hospital or a good medic nearby.

    My partner was fine and fully recovered after a week or so but it was a scary experience that could've gone a lot worse. If you experience headaches, vomiting, etc after drinking a lot of water, get it checked out. It's probably just sunstroke and exhaustion from whatever you were doing running around in the sun on a hot day - but it could be water intoxication, so be careful. Make sure the medic you see knows you've had a lot of water; give them volume numbers.

    I have no idea how to reliably tell the difference between sunstroke+exhaustion and hyponatremia. Anyone?

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