Injury Prevention – Importance of Hydration
Written by Greg on July 5, 2013
Everybody knows that our bodies contain about two thirds water. What many people don’t know is how critically important adequate hydration is in the summertime in Houston. Providing yourself with the proper amount of water is vitally important to your health and well-being.
For athletes such as baseball players, soccer players, football players in summertime camp and other outdoor sports activities, adequate hydration is critically important.
Adequate hydration not only keeps important functions of the body working, it also has a huge impact upon athletic ability. When a person does not drink enough liquids or eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables to stay properly hydrated they can end up lightheaded and muscles can fatigue prematurely. Most importantly, while working out or playing sports, inadequate hydration can impact a body’s ability to cool down through perspiration.
The danger is that dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and/or a heat stroke. Many fitness experts suggest a combination of electrolyte replacing sports drinks and water on an alternative basis during prolonged outside activity in summer.
For optimal sports performance, the athlete must be properly hydrated. Dehydration can also affect mood and lead to fatigue and even feelings of hunger when the body is actually seeking water.
Dehydration also impacts mental acuity which can suffer if a body is improperly hydrated. Water not only lubricates the joints but regulates body temperature and helps convert food to energy.
It is very important if you are outside in the Houston weather this summer that you drink water before you show signs of thirst. Actually, thirst is a signal that your body is already behind in its need for fluid.
You can monitor your hydration level by looking to your urine which should be plentiful and a light yellow color. If you have trouble urinating, you may not be taking enough liquids. If your urine is dark color it may be a sign that you are dehydrated. Supplements can affect the color of your urine for several hours.
The easy way to prevent dehydration is to drink adequate healthy beverages. Water of course should be consumed and when participating in sports events consider adding water supplements for sports or purchasing a sports hydration drink such as Gatorade.
The hotter the temperature, the more hydration will be important to both your health and performance on and off the field.