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I was drinking a gallon of water a day and was
STILL DEHYDRATED...A couple of weeks ago, I went to the doctor to get my annual physical done. When she asked me if anything has been bothering me as of late, I mentioned that I’ve feeling more bloated, swollen, crampy and fatigued than I usually do, with the occasional headache here and there.
We both agreed that I might have developed an intolerance to a food that I’ve been eating (perhaps gluten or dairy) and so we decided to test for it.
Well, it turned out that I am intolerant to gluten or dairy (Thank God because I’m Italian and wouldn't of been able to give up my bread or cheese anyways =)).
BUT, What we did discover was that I was actually suffering from mild grade DEHYDRATION!
Here’s how our conversation went:
Sara: “But doc, I drink over a gallon of water a day, that is impossible!”
Doc: “Ah, yes. But if you are drinking a gallon of water a day, and you’re sweating and peeing out a gallon and a half, then your still dehydrated, right?”
Sara: “Yes doc, you’re right.!”
Dehydration is a REAL thing and its often overlooked (especially amongst athletes).
As a Registered Dietitian and Certified Personal Trainer, I often see my clients suffering from dehydration ALL THE TIME in the gym! So often, that I didn’t even realize that it was happening to me as well!
If you know me well enough, then you know that I sweat....A LOT.
Sweat should be my middle name.
Sara SWEAT De Luca.
I teach a variety of fitness classes each week and enjoy working out on my own, too.I was clinically diagnosed with dehydration--not because I don’t drink enough water (because I drink over a gallon a day), but because I wasn't retaining the fluid that I was drinking because my electrolytes were imbalanced!
Stay with me for a second…
Put simply, dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than you take in. Water can be lost in many different ways (e.g. through urine, sweat, open wounds, diarrhea, regurgitation, etc.).
What’s more concerning than water being lost, is that electrolytes (mainly sodium, potassium, & magnesium) are also lost in high concentrations at the same time, which can be potentially life threatening if left untreated.
Electrolytes are needed to regulate nerve and muscle function, prevent muscle cramping, maintain acid-base balance, and distribute fluids evenly throughout the body.
Nutritionally speaking, athletes tend to lose large amounts of fluids AND electrolytes through means of sweat when exercising frequently and/or for long periods of time. If this is the case, then plain ole’ Poland Spring water just simply won’t be enough! Electrolytes are needed, too.
Reading this article, you may be wondering how much water you should actually be drinking a day. Depending on your level of physical activity and sweat rate, a good rule-of-thumb for the average population is to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water a day. For example, if you weigh 160lbs, then 80 oz of water should be the minimum daily target that you strive for! Keep in mind that the more water you lose, the more electrolytes you need to replace (keep reading to find out how you can replace your electrolytes correctly!)
Even if you drink a lot of water, it’s important that you are aware of the symptoms of dehydration.
The symptoms of dehydration include:
If you’re an athlete and/or experiencing any of the symptoms above, here’s how you can prevent and/or fix symptoms of dehydration before it becomes potentially life-threatening:
To schedule your FREE 30-minute nutrition consult, please email me at saradelucaRDCPT@gmail.com or visit www.fitRDeLuca.com for more info!
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STAY HYDRATED, MY FRIENDS! =)