Water is the most important substance that the body requires in order to survive. Water makes up approximately two-thirds of the human body and has a number of functions that assist with both the regulation and control of the functioning of the body. Dramatic losses of water levels within the body may cause mild to severe detrimental effects or even cause fatality if water content remains considerably low for a prolonged period of time.
Dehydration may take place in any climate depending on the level of activity and fluid intake. Those who undertake a vigorous amount of exercise in a hot climate or in hot temperatures within the UK are at a greater risk to the onset of dehydration and the secondary effects. As well as the client, it is important that the personal trainer or fitness instructor understands the physiological effects of dehydration and is aware of the warning signs to prevent the condition taking place during sport and exercise.
What is Dehydration? Dehydration takes place when the body loses water at a rate in which fluid loss is greater than fluid consumption. The resultant imbalance causes a disruption in the mineral balance (salts & sugars) within the body tissues which consequently effects body function.
Signs & Symptoms of Dehydration (Mild to Severe):
- Feeling thirsty
- Nausea & vomiting
- Headache & feeling generally unwell
- Dark coloured urine with a strong odour
- Dry mouth
- Irritability & Palpitations
- Lethargic & weakness
- Raised pulse rate & weak pulse
- Low blood pressure
- Reduced concentration, alertness & confusion
- Inability to sweat & less frequent urination
- Consume plenty of fluids prior to sporting events or any activity within a hot climate
- Consume water regularly during the course of the day as opposed to abstaining consumption just prior to an activity
- Do not wait until you feel thirsty before you consume fluids as experiencing a thirst sensation is an advanced stage of dehydration
- Immediate attention should be given to the individual by placing him or her in a cool environment and away from heat sources such as the sun
- Lie or sit the individual down with supported arm-rests and away from any dangers
- Consume plenty of water or sweet drinks
- Consume salty snacks
- Monitor skin colour (including texture), heart-rate, blood pressure, alertness & consciousness
- Seek medical attention if required
Please feel free to contact the Manchester G4 Clinic to speak to a member of the team for any questions that you may have.