Ensuring you drink enough throughout the day is extremely important to prevent your body’s cells from becoming thirsty. The body is well adapted to signal when dehydration starts to occur, signs of dehydration include:
Thirst can also sometimes be mistaken by the thirst receptors as hunger (a useful tip to help weight loss). The body detects thirst and hunger via feedback mechanism which identify the concentrations of sodium in the blood. This information is then passed back to the bodies “thirst centre” located in the brain, called the hypothalamus.
Signals are then sent back from the hypothalamus which stimulates a response, the feeling of thirst. However, by the time thirst is experienced, dehydration has already started to occur. For this reason it is advised to sip water throughout the day even when you are not feeling thirsty.
Fact file: A 2% loss in hydration equals a 20% loss in performance!
Water is perfectly adequate if activity levels are low to moderate intensity physical activity lasting less than sixty minutes for example walking. When activity levels exceed to high intensity and is more than sixty minutes, water is unable to penetrate the cells rapidly.
According to research, athletes find it difficult to replace fluid at same rate it is lost during physical activity. For this reason, hydration drinks such as Elite Hydrate not only provide the essential minerals potassium, chloride and sodium however, also contains carbohydrates which help to carry water into the cells more rapidly.
There are many hydration drinks available on the market, some in powder form and others in ready-to-drink form. Ready-to-drink drinks typically contain sweeteners which hydrolyse and lose function at a greater rate compared to powder form hydration formulas. What this means is powder forms offer more stability with the steady release of sugars compared to ready-to-drink drinks which deliver a rapid release of energy after which energy level plummet.
Other factors contributing to dehydration includes drinking too many caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee. Alternatively, drinking de-caffeinated drinks such as herbal teas increase hydration status. Not drinking enough water can also affect your skin, leading to dry flaky skin and cracked lips. Lastly, colour of urine is an indicator used to determine hydration status. Darker, low volume urine is a sign you are not drinking enough fluids. Lighter colour urine is an indication of good hydration status.