How To Prevent Dehydration During Sports

By Subodh / September 7, 2015

Sports persons and athletes need to cope with a number of challenges everyday to perform at optimal level. Apart from factors like mental stress, fatigue, injury, they also need to cope with a menace called dehydration! As it is, dehydration can affect sports persons from any discipline, including basketball, running, baseball and triathlon. It affects the functioning of vital body organs like heart and kidney negatively, resulting in early fatigue and deficit in performance.

Why Dehydration Sets In Athletes?

Prevent Dehydration During Sports

From a child to an old lady, anybody can be subjected to dehydration, but athletes are more prone to be affected by this condition. This happens because during any intense physical activity, human body temperature goes up significantly. As a reaction, your body starts sweating- thereby bringing down the rise in temperature. The downside is that as you sweat, the body loses water fast and dehydration sets in. With sweat, your body also loses precious minerals and replenishing the loss becomes a necessity.

Top Symptoms of Dehydration

Often the athletes do not feel much thirsty even when the body is dehydrated and this can be quite tricky! The most obvious symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Nausea
  • High heart rate
  • Fatigue
  • Light-headedness
  • Pale yellow urine

In some instances, dehydrated people may lose consciousness also.

Ways To Avoid Dehydration For Sports Persons And Athletes

The best way to thwart the onset of dehydration is replenishing the loss of body fluid. For this, you need to know what type of beverages you should take and avoid.

Drinks For Sports Persons To Stay Hydrated

Athletes and sports persons should drink plenty of water during the games to stay well hydrated. For sports that do not require intense activity, drinking plain water at regular interval should be good enough. Those into intense workout based sports should drink water to which salt and a dash of lemon has been added. Ideally, they should drink water before some time of the game or match. While playing a game, taking small sips of water every 15 minutes or so is helpful.

Apart from water, they can intake isotonic drinks. Fruit juices including orange and lemon juices can be taken while playing. However, homemade juices fit the bill better than OTC products in this regard.

It is okay to take sports drinks, but the ingredients should be considered carefully. Sports drinks containing glucose are useful for thwarting onset of hypoglycemia. Some drinks also contain key minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium, which come in handy to balance the impact of body fluid loss during activities. Ideally, you should take these drinks when you take part in sports activities that last for 2 hours or so.

Drinks Sports Persons Should Evade For Thwarting Dehydration

Sports persons and athletes need to avoid drinking certain beverages when they perform to cope with dehydration better. Some, such examples are listed below:

The fizzy drinks like lemonade and cola and any high energy drink should not be taken by athletes while playing. As it is, the human body takes lots of time to ingest and use these beverages.

It is also not advisable for sportspersons to intake, caffeine based drinks while playing.

Other Handy Tips For Sports Persons To Evade Dehydration

Apart from the beverages consumed by a sportsperson, several other factors also play a role in dehydration.
You may make some changes in diet to keep dehydration at bay while playing. Taking alcohol and caffeinated drinks even before playing should be avoided. Reducing the amount of protein in meals can also be helpful. It would be a great idea to eat foods rich in potassium, calcium to replenish mineral loss caused by sweating.

The timing of sports also plays a role in the onset of dehydration, as it is. You will sweat less while playing if the temperature is not high and humidity is less. Playing early in the morning can be useful in this regard. You may also choose to play after the sunset for the same reasons.

You also need to wear the proper type of clothes to reduce sweating and stay comfortable while playing. Cotton based clothes that are not too tight should be ideal for playing. Using thick garments may result in more sweating and lead to the risk of dehydration.