Our bodies are extremely dependent on water for survival. A person can live up to 3 weeks without food, but only 4-5 days without water. Being our second need for survival after oxygen, water is simply the drive that keeps our general functions going properly. And that is the exact reason why we must pay close attention to our hydration and always prevent dehydration. However, there are times when we compromise our water intake and fail to keep our fluid levels balanced.
A big workout is great, however, it can lead to dehydration. Some of the signs of dehydration after hard exercise are muscle weakness, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, thirst and cramps.
It’s simple – without water, our muscles work less as they are imbalanced with the level of salts in our blood, making it thicker. The results are in a form of muscle weakness and a feeling of laziness.
You may be alerted to dehydration after exercise if you are feeling dizzy. Also known as lightheadedness, the dizziness is a sign of dehydration that makes us unable to stand or walk normally. Similar to the muscle weakness, it focuses on water as a key element to making our muscles more active, including our brain where the dizziness firstly occurs.
Got a headache after you have finished your intense exercise? Our brain is actually rounded with a fluid sack. It is water that keeps our brain from contact against our skull, therefore if the fluid sack is in a deficit of water – it may result in pushing against the skull and causing headaches.
This sign of dehydration is actually present in 1 of 5 people. If you ever felt tired and haven’t drunk enough water throughout the day, that may be the reason for the fatigue. After an intense workout, you are likely to feel this a whole lot more.
One of the more recognised symptoms of dehydration after exercise is feeling thirsty. If you are feeling thirsty, chances are you are already dehydrated. Obviously, water directly affects our thirst. If you are thirsty – that means your body needs more and more water and may be over-lacking it as a symptom of dehydration.
You’ll know when you get a cramp! The muscle will spasm and it’s uncontrollable and painful. It also happens suddenly and you may not get any warning. Many people get cramping in the feet or calf muscles, although it can happen in any muscle. You may experience twitching on the muscle too. It’s like the muscle has a mind of its own. If you are suffering from muscle cramps, that is actually the heat effect on the muscles. As our muscles work harder and harder during our exercise, they need proper hydration as a cool-off and if we miss the water intakes, they may overheat – and cause changes in the electrolytes, magnesium, sodium and potassium levels, therefore resulting with muscle cramps.
Staying Hydrated with Staminade
So you can see it’s important to stay hydrated and be sure you have replenished those fluids and minerals you lose during those intense workouts. How can I do this if I’m already in the workout and can feel myself becoming dehydrated you may ask? Well, preparation is key. First up, before you even start your exercise, be sure you are hydrated. Try drinking 350ml to 700ml of Staminade every 10 minutes before you get started.
Now, if your session is going to be quite intense and last longer than say, 40 minutes, have the Staminade on hand and take it as you are training. We recommend 250ml to 350ml of Staminade every 15 minutes.
After you finish training, or after an event you may still may wake up the following morning dehydrated, even if you hydrate after the event. If you try drinking 350ml to 500ml of Staminade soon after the intense exercise to assist with this. Another point to remember is if you have lost weight due to the exercise. This can happen in endurance events or really intense workouts. Make sure you are replacing the weight loss with fluid. Try 1 litre of Staminade for every 1kg lost.
Overall staying hydrated and managing the likelihood of dehydration is so important for not only your workout but also your recovery.