Now that summer is here and the heat is turned up, dehydration can be a big issue, especially for those who exercise outside. We only have to lose about 1.5% of the water in our bodies to experience mild dehydration. This doesn’t seem like a lot but being dehydrated isn’t just about being thirsty. In fact, by the time we experience thirst, our bodies have already crossed the line into dehydration.
The next time you’re hungry, stop and consider whether or not you may just be in need of a glass of water. Dehydration will often mask itself as hunger. Oftentimes, this leads to sugar cravings especially if dehydration occurs during exercise. Exercise can deplete glycogen (the carbohydrates our bodies store). This occurs even more frequently if we’re not properly hydrated and can lead to craving more carbs which can wreck a diet if consumed in large quantities. On top of this, being dehydrated while exercising can reduce a workout’s effectiveness by 10%.
In addition to causing mood changes, dehydration can also make us feel dizzy since our brains don’t get as much blood circulating through them when dehydration occurs reports Zeca Oliveira. When we’re dizzy and moody it is difficult to exercise effectively.
Keeping hydrated is as simple as making sure to drink water before, during, and after exercise. For those of us who have trouble drinking throughout the day, fruits and vegetables contain all the water we need to stay healthy and hydrated.