You Know You Need to Drink Water When . . .

You Know You Need to Drink Water When . . .

Did you know that once you hit the point of being thirsty| you’re already dehydrated? Our bodies are between 50 and 75 percent water| so once you’re dehydrated| the amount of water in the body has already dropped below what’s needed for normal body function. Here are signs that it is time to drink up!

| You Feel Tired

If you feel tired throughout your day| try filling up on water before reaching for a caffeinated beverage and see if that makes a difference. After a full night’s rest it’s common to be slightly dehydrated in the morning; so don’t forget to include drinking a glass of H2O in your morning routine to jump-start your metabolism and your brain!

| A Little Moody

A recent study found that mild dehydration can affect your mood and interfere with your ability to concentrate. If you’re sitting at your desk and feeling a little low| sipping water could help you snap into focus.

| You’re Having Trouble Going

Water helps to keeps your digestive system moving and your intestines flexible to avoid chronic constipation. It only makes sense that you’d have difficulty with your bowel movements if you’re not staying hydrated. Keep things moving by drink plenty of fluids throughout your day.

| You Have a Headache

Mild headaches are a classic sign of dehydration. Drinking eight ounces of water when you feel the pain coming on might just keep the headache at bay. So sip up before reaching for the aspirin.

| You Have Bad Breath

Dry mouth leads to bad breath. You need salvia to fight stink-inducing bacteria| so drinking water regularly should keep your breath in check.

Signs That Your Workouts Are Too Intense

Working out is supposed to improve your health, but occasionally you might experience some unpleasant and downright frightening side effects like dizziness, nausea, or blurry vision. To find out if these post-workout symptoms are dangerous, we turned to a board-certified physician for advice.

We’ve been getting many questions from readers regarding odd symptoms experienced during and immediately after exercise. One reader experienced nausea, vomiting, and dizziness while exercising, which made her feel like she was going to black out, and another reader went running in 90 degree temperatures and developed exhaustion, blurry vision, imbalance, and impaired hearing. I’m sure that there are other readers out there who have had similar feelings when working out (including me) and wondered what the causes could have been. Typically, it’s hard to diagnose exactly what happened to each of these readers, but there are only so many common causes of these types of symptoms that are related to exercise. The most common causes of these types of symptoms include dehydration, low blood sugar levels, overexertion, and, quite possibly, heat exhaustion.

Whether you’re doing high intensity workouts or just working up a sweat walking your dog, hydration is important. The definition of dehydration is when you lose more fluid than you take in, so the body does not having enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. It’s obvious that with any form of exercise, fluid will be lost from sweating; however, in moderate to intense physical activity, the fluid loss will be much greater. Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include: dry and sticky mouth, fatigue, thirst, decreased urine output, muscle weakness, headache, and dizziness. Symptoms of severe dehydration (which is a medical emergency) are: extreme thirst, irritability/confusion, dry mouth and mucous membranes, lack of sweating, little to no urination, sunken eyes, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and possibly unconsciousness.

Dehydration is best treated with rehydration! Water is typically the best bet in terms of rehydrating, but sports drinks containing electrolytes and carbohydrates are also appropriate. One way to prevent dehydration is to anticipate fluid loss during exercise by consuming fluids prior, during, and after exercise. Speaking with your physician or a registered dietitian certified in sports nutrition can help you formulate an individualized plan for adequate sports hydration.

Often, exercise-induced nausea or light-headedness can be secondary to high-intensity workouts or overexertion. Pushing too hard or performing exercise that is at a pace higher than one’s fitness level are common causes of overexertion leading to nausea or light-headedness. I know sometimes I’ve pushed it too hard at spinning class towards the end of class and I’ve literally felt like I was going to throw up in front of the whole class. While pushing yourself to reach higher levels of fitness is important for many people so they can reach their goals, you must be careful to slowly increase your level of fitness and reach your goals over time.

Another cause of the symptoms our readers have asked about is hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a condition wherein the blood glucose (sugar) level is too low. Hypoglycemia occurs when your body’s blood sugar is used up too quickly, glucose is released into the blood stream too slowly, or too much insulin is released into the bloodstream. Hypoglycemia is a common occurrence in people who have diabetes; however, it can happen to nondiabetics as well if not enough fuel (food) is consumed prior to exertion or exercise.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, symptoms of hypoglycemia include: headache, excessive sweating, blurred vision, dizziness, lack of coordination/imbalance, anxiety, mental confusion, heart palpitations, slurred speech, fatigue, and, more seriously, seizures or coma. People who exercise in the mornings without eating anything or not much at all are at high risk of developing hypoglycemia. Prior to exercise, eating either a small meal or a hearty snack containing lean protein, a small amount of healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates can help prevent hypoglycemia. It is important to treat hypoglycemia immediately, by consuming food high in carbohydrates/sugar such as orange juice or bread.

Hopefully, by understanding and knowing about the most common causes of nausea/vomiting, dizziness, and weakness secondary to exercise, you can help prevent them by taking good care to keep yourself well hydrated and well nourished! If you experience any of the symptoms that I’ve discussed above on a frequent basis, it would be prudent to see your primary care physician to discuss proper evaluation and treatment.

DrSugar posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

Signs That Your Workouts Are Too Intense

Working out is supposed to improve your health| but occasionally you might experience some unpleasant and downright frightening side effects like dizziness| nausea| or blurry vision. To find out if these post-workout symptoms are dangerous| we turned to a board-certified physician for advice.

We’ve been getting many questions from readers regarding odd symptoms experienced during and immediately after exercise. One reader experienced nausea| vomiting| and dizziness while exercising| which made her feel like she was going to black out| and another reader went running in 90 degree temperatures and developed exhaustion| blurry vision| imbalance| and impaired hearing. I’m sure that there are other readers out there who have had similar feelings when working out (including me) and wondered what the causes could have been. Typically| it’s hard to diagnose exactly what happened to each of these readers| but there are only so many common causes of these types of symptoms that are related to exercise. The most common causes of these types of symptoms include dehydration| low blood sugar levels| overexertion| and| quite possibly| heat exhaustion.

Whether you’re doing high intensity workouts or just working up a sweat walking your dog| hydration is important. The definition of dehydration is when you lose more fluid than you take in| so the body does not having enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. It’s obvious that with any form of exercise| fluid will be lost from sweating; however| in moderate to intense physical activity| the fluid loss will be much greater. Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include: dry and sticky mouth| fatigue| thirst| decreased urine output| muscle weakness| headache| and dizziness. Symptoms of severe dehydration (which is a medical emergency) are: extreme thirst| irritability/confusion| dry mouth and mucous membranes| lack of sweating| little to no urination| sunken eyes| low blood pressure| rapid heartbeat| and possibly unconsciousness.

Dehydration is best treated with rehydration! Water is typically the best bet in terms of rehydrating| but sports drinks containing electrolytes and carbohydrates are also appropriate. One way to prevent dehydration is to anticipate fluid loss during exercise by consuming fluids prior| during| and after exercise. Speaking with your physician or a registered dietitian certified in sports nutrition can help you formulate an individualized plan for adequate sports hydration.

Often| exercise-induced nausea or light-headedness can be secondary to high-intensity workouts or overexertion. Pushing too hard or performing exercise that is at a pace higher than one’s fitness level are common causes of overexertion leading to nausea or light-headedness. I know sometimes I’ve pushed it too hard at spinning class towards the end of class and I’ve literally felt like I was going to throw up in front of the whole class. While pushing yourself to reach higher levels of fitness is important for many people so they can reach their goals| you must be careful to slowly increase your level of fitness and reach your goals over time.

Another cause of the symptoms our readers have asked about is hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a condition wherein the blood glucose (sugar) level is too low. Hypoglycemia occurs when your body’s blood sugar is used up too quickly| glucose is released into the blood stream too slowly| or too much insulin is released into the bloodstream. Hypoglycemia is a common occurrence in people who have diabetes; however| it can happen to nondiabetics as well if not enough fuel (food) is consumed prior to exertion or exercise.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center| symptoms of hypoglycemia include: headache| excessive sweating| blurred vision| dizziness| lack of coordination/imbalance| anxiety| mental confusion| heart palpitations| slurred speech| fatigue| and| more seriously| seizures or coma. People who exercise in the mornings without eating anything or not much at all are at high risk of developing hypoglycemia. Prior to exercise| eating either a small meal or a hearty snack containing lean protein| a small amount of healthy fat| and complex carbohydrates can help prevent hypoglycemia. It is important to treat hypoglycemia immediately| by consuming food high in carbohydrates/sugar such as orange juice or bread.

Hopefully| by understanding and knowing about the most common causes of nausea/vomiting| dizziness| and weakness secondary to exercise| you can help prevent them by taking good care to keep yourself well hydrated and well nourished! If you experience any of the symptoms that I’ve discussed above on a frequent basis| it would be prudent to see your primary care physician to discuss proper evaluation and treatment.

DrSugar posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice| diagnosis| or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography

3 Signs You’re Dehydrated During a Workout

It may be true that thirst is one of the first signs of dehydration, but if you’re anything like me it takes some effort to drink enough water throughout the day, especially when it’s time to work out. Not drinking enough water, however, can mess with an exercise routine, preventing you from training as hard or as long as you’d like. Make sure you stay hydrated by recognizing these three signs that you need to drink more water when exercising.

    You feel fatigued: Feeling sluggish and fatigued when you start a workout can be a sure sign that you haven’t fueled the body correctly. But it’s not just about finding the perfect pre-workout snack ¡ª plain old water also helps you stay energized. Make sure you drink enough before or after your workout, and if you’re doing a longer workout make sure to sip throughout.You cramp easily: Not drinking enough water can cause you to cramp while working out, so make sure you’re hydrating well before you work out. Drink an ounce of water for every 10 pounds of body weight about one to two hours before you exercise, but make sure you don’t gulp too much water right before the start of a workout.You have a high pulse: Using a heart rate monitor when you work out can definitely help you understand how your body is responding to your workout intensity. If you notice that your heart rate is higher than normal (learn how to measure your max heart rate here), it could be because you’re dehydrated. Try to see how your water intake affects your pulse; if drinking water doesn’t help, it could be another reason.

Summer workouts can also lead to dehydration, so read our tips on how to stay hydrated while you work out in the Summer heat.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchat

3 Signs You’re Dehydrated During a Workout

It may be true that thirst is one of the first signs of dehydration| but if you’re anything like me it takes some effort to drink enough water throughout the day| especially when it’s time to work out. Not drinking enough water| however| can mess with an exercise routine| preventing you from training as hard or as long as you’d like. Make sure you stay hydrated by recognizing these three signs that you need to drink more water when exercising.

    You feel fatigued: Feeling sluggish and fatigued when you start a workout can be a sure sign that you haven’t fueled the body correctly. But it’s not just about finding the perfect pre-workout snack plain old water also helps you stay energized. Make sure you drink enough before or after your workout| and if you’re doing a longer workout make sure to sip throughout.You cramp easily: Not drinking enough water can cause you to cramp while working out| so make sure you’re hydrating well before you work out. Drink an ounce of water for every 10 pounds of body weight about one to two hours before you exercise| but make sure you don’t gulp too much water right before the start of a workout.You have a high pulse: Using a heart rate monitor when you work out can definitely help you understand how your body is responding to your workout intensity. If you notice that your heart rate is higher than normal (learn how to measure your max heart rate here)| it could be because you’re dehydrated. Try to see how your water intake affects your pulse; if drinking water doesn’t help| it could be another reason.

Summer workouts can also lead to dehydration| so read our tips on how to stay hydrated while you work out in the Summer heat.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Kat Borchat

Concerned About Cramps? Pickle Juice Might Be the Answer

Think twice the next time you go to toss your empty pickle jar! If you’re in the market for a low-sugar, all-natural electrolyte replacement, you should not let that juice go down the drain. Pickle juice could be your new go-to sports drink.

Source: Shutterstock

Sodium helps the body retain fluids, which is essential for long endurance workouts, marathons, or any other endurance activity; not having enough fluids in your muscles when you sweat intensely can result in serious dehydration, cramping, and plain old post-workout discomfort. Since pickle brine is very high in sodium, experts wanted to see if drinking this pungent stuff could help after a tough workout.

Brigham Young University conducted a small study to determine whether pickle juice could alleviate exercise-induced muscle cramps. Male participants exercised on a semirecumbant bike for 30-minute sessions (with five minutes of rest between) until each lost three percent of his body weight through perspiration and was mildly dehydrated. Then, each man had the tibial nerve in his ankle electrically stimulated so that his toe cramped. Researchers concluded that pickle juice relieved the muscle cramping about 37 percent faster than the men who just drank water. Since the study was so small, this evidence alone isn’t enough to canonize pickle juice as the best sports drink out there. However, many athletes and coaches have sworn by pickle juice’s ability to improve athletic performance. One Philadelphia Eagles trainer went as far as to credit his team’s pickle juice habit for players’ improved stamina and endurance in hot temperatures (even though he doesn’t know why it works.)

Others say that pickle juice’s electrolytes can come in handy after a different type of “endurance” activity: a long night of drinking. Dr. Oz suggests tossing back 1/4 cup of pickle juice when you first wake up to replenish electrolytes and alleviate hangover symptoms.

Source: IFC

I’ll admit it: pickle brine is an acquired taste. But if you suffer from cramps or would love an all-natural alternative to Gatorade after a long workout or night on the town, taking a big swig from that jar might be worth your while.

Concerned About Cramps? Pickle Juice Might Be the Answer

Think twice the next time you go to toss your empty pickle jar! If you’re in the market for a low-sugar| all-natural electrolyte replacement| you should not let that juice go down the drain. Pickle juice could be your new go-to sports drink.

Source: Shutterstock

Sodium helps the body retain fluids| which is essential for long endurance workouts| marathons| or any other endurance activity; not having enough fluids in your muscles when you sweat intensely can result in serious dehydration| cramping| and plain old post-workout discomfort. Since pickle brine is very high in sodium| experts wanted to see if drinking this pungent stuff could help after a tough workout.

Brigham Young University conducted a small study to determine whether pickle juice could alleviate exercise-induced muscle cramps. Male participants exercised on a semirecumbant bike for 30-minute sessions (with five minutes of rest between) until each lost three percent of his body weight through perspiration and was mildly dehydrated. Then| each man had the tibial nerve in his ankle electrically stimulated so that his toe cramped. Researchers concluded that pickle juice relieved the muscle cramping about 37 percent faster than the men who just drank water. Since the study was so small| this evidence alone isn’t enough to canonize pickle juice as the best sports drink out there. However| many athletes and coaches have sworn by pickle juice’s ability to improve athletic performance. One Philadelphia Eagles trainer went as far as to credit his team’s pickle juice habit for players’ improved stamina and endurance in hot temperatures (even though he doesn’t know why it works.)

Others say that pickle juice’s electrolytes can come in handy after a different type of “endurance” activity: a long night of drinking. Dr. Oz suggests tossing back 1/4 cup of pickle juice when you first wake up to replenish electrolytes and alleviate hangover symptoms.

Source: IFC

I’ll admit it: pickle brine is an acquired taste. But if you suffer from cramps or would love an all-natural alternative to Gatorade after a long workout or night on the town| taking a big swig from that jar might be worth your while.