Dehydration and the Risk of Injuries

With warmer weather on its way, it also comes with an elevated risk of dehydration. This risk becomes a greater concern as people participate in sports and outdoor activities.

There are a number of risks associated with dehydration. In addition to impacting your heart, endocrine system, digestion, and nervous system, dehydration can contribute to orthopedic injuries.

Risks of Orthopedic Injuries

Listen to your body. If you start to experience symptoms of dehydration such as fatigue, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, or muscle cramps, stop exercising immediately. Preventing injury or severe illness is possible if you look out for the warning signs.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps can easily develop as your body loses too much water during exercise. These cramps are not only painful but can impact your form and endurance. Poor form is a major cause of a variety of orthopedic injuries such as muscle strains and tears or even fractures.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion, caused by a sudden increase in core body temperature, can result in dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and even loss of consciousness. Such symptoms make it very difficult for your body to function properly, increasing the likelihood of injury.

Related: Heat Stroke vs Heat Exhaustion: What’s the Difference?

5 Tips for Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated can be difficult since athletes can lose up to 3 quarts of fluid per hour of exercise. How can you decrease your chances of dehydration, especially during warmer weather? Follow these tips:

1. Drink Water Before

Drink plenty of water before participating in exercise. Up to 2 hours before starting your activity, you should drink at least 20 ounces of water.

2. Drink Water During

Drink plenty of water during your exercise or outdoor activity. You should drink between 7 and 10 ounces of water every 10-20 minutes while exercising.

3. Drink Water After

Continue to drink water after you have stopped exercising. It is important to keep up the fluid intake even after your activity has ended by consuming at least 8 ounces following exercise.

4. Hydrate Consistently

Be consistent with hydration throughout the day. Your body continues to lose fluids even while at rest.

5. Drink Plain Water

Plain water is your best bet. Sports drinks and coconut water can provide the added benefit of replenishing electrolytes lost through sweat, however, the added sugar in these drinks is a negative.

Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today

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Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.