Dehydration is one of the major causes of fatigue and a large number of people are dehydrated most of the time without realizing. Drinking more fluid can help you feel better and train with greater energy levels and therefore allow you to burn more energy (body fat).
The human body is made up of approximately 60% water. When body water levels drop, our body systems are unable to function effectively. Daily fluid losses for most adults are between 1 – 2 litres per day. High temperatures, humidity, exercise and air-conditioning will significantly increase these fluid losses.
All levels of dehydration will affect performance. The ability to exercise will be significantly impaired with high levels of dehydration. Failure to drink enough of the right fluid can cause the following symptoms:
- Increased core body temperature
- Increased heart rate
- Decreased mental functioning and skills
- Increased risk of gastrointestinal upset
- Muscle cramps
Water during exercise
Aim to drink 150 – 250ml for every 15 minutes of exercise in addition to your regular daily intake. This will offset the fluid losses from exercise.
Note: This will vary according to the conditions and the level of effort. The more you sweat, the more fluids you need to replace.
Types of fluid
Water is the preferred drink to provide fluid required. Add a small amount of juice (e.g. lemon) to water to aid absorption and digestion. Avoid energy drinks as they often have high levels of caffeine or guarana (herbal form of caffeine). Caffeine is a diuretic and will increase dehydration.