How to Manage Dehydration During Sports Activities?

Dehydration is the most common problem for sports persons. During sports activities the body loses water and also various important blood salts like potassium. Dehydration happens to a more extent when the sport persons play at higher temperatures and at high altitudes. With no sufficient water, important body organs like kidneys and heart cannot function properly.

Here we guide you on what a sports person has to drink before and after a match and also during regular training to avoid dehydration and have a better sports fitness.

Why dehydration happens?

When one is playing sports, especially at higher temperatures, the body tries to maintain the normal temperature of 37 degrees by sweating. This results in significant loss of body fluid. This reduced level of body fluids, in turn lead to dehydration and heart stroke. The easy ways to find out you are dehydrated are – feeing more thirsty, dry lips and dry mouth. The dehydration is more serious when you have blue lips, pulse is weak and breathing is fast and adding to all these confusion.

Tips to avoid dehydration during sports

Every time you are playing sports, you lose some body fluid. Here are some tips on how to replace the lost fluids to avoid dehydration and related issues.

  • Start drinking water or some other form of fluids early on the day of the match
  • Before two hours of the start of the match, drink up to 600ml of fluid
  • 15 minutes before the match starts drink around 500ml of fluid
  • When you are playing the match, you are advised to drink some fluids whenever you can. If possible, drink 100-150ml every 15 minutes.
  • Even after the end of the game, drink some fluids immediately. This ensures you are not dehydrated.

How to check you are dehydrated or not?

The best and easy way you can know you are dehydrated or not is by checking the color of your urine. It will be of very pale yellow color if you are well-hydrated and drinking the adequate amount of fluids. In case your urine is very dark, normally brownish-green color, it indicates that you are dehydrated and need to take enough fluid.

The best and accurate way you can monitor dehydration is by checking your body weight before and after a play. For every kilogram loss in weight it indicates you have lost one liter of fluid. You can replace this fluid loss and avoid dehydration by drinking 1.5 liters of fluid.

What are the best drinks to avoid dehydration?

  • Isotonic drinks are the best choice to avoid dehydration. They contain 6-8 grams of carbohydrates in every 100ml. The drinks also contain salts that help the body use the fluids efficiently.
  • All types of non-alcoholic drinks are the right choice to prevent dehydration.
  • Water is the most popular and effective form of fluid to avoid dehydration.
  • Fruit juices and squashes can also be taken when playing sports.

What not to drink when playing sports?

Drinks like cola, lemonade and high-energy drinks should be avoided during sports. These are not of any help to the body as it takes lot of time for the body to absorb and use them.

You can take tea and coffee, but only in small amounts. However, avoid excess consumption of these drinks as they contain a lot of caffeine.

So, now you see how important is water while exercising. As you have seen the things that affect fluid loss during exercises in athletes are high altitude, temperature, sweating and exercise intensity and duration. Sports drink are beneficial for high intensity exercises for a duration of 60 minutes or above. This might fulfill the need of calories required during strenuous performance. However, the best drink to resort to while exercising is pure water. There are some guidelines to be followed for fluid intake before, during and after exercising. If one takes care of them, one can easily beat dehydration caused by excessive sweating during exercising or high intensity fitness regime.