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Water, dehydration and health during exercise

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Health sciences and medicine Water, dehydration and health during exercise October 5, Dehydration can often occur suddenly and unexpectedlyduring exercise, and this theory and the mechanics of it have been studied extensively. Water is an essential and critical element often overlooked by athletes and novices alike, but dehydration can, will, and does have a major effect on the performance of exercise as well as the tolerability and enjoyment of the exercise. Dehydration is most often a concern to those who exercise occasionally or consider themselves to be recreational exercisers.

These groups of people are more likely to ignore the extra needs of the body such as fluid and electrolyte replacement when they feel their efforts are less serious than those of a serious athlete. Because of the sports drink industry, there has been a renewed interest in the topic of dehydration as related to health during exercise in the preceding number of years. When exercises causes you to need to catch your breath no matter how strenuous or light it is, it is time to consider your body’s fluid needs (Burke 5).

Dehydration is known to affect mental performance as well as your level of skill in the exercise you are performing. A problem athletes most often face during events is that hydration must be done “on the run, ” or in the midst of an event or competition. Even during these situations critical to your ultimate purposes as an athlete, you must create your own opportunities to rehydrate and replace as much of your sweat loss as is possible. It has been suggested that no matter the circumstance, athletes will drink no more than 600 ml per hour even when more is easily available (Burke 5). Moderate levels of dehydration have an effect on the rate of stomach emptying and these fluids and nutrients that you intake have no effect until they are absorbed by the small intestine. Not only can exercise for prolonged periods, especially in the heat, lead to dehydration.

It is also responsible for oxidative stress which has a negative impact on performance. This decreased performance is thought to be caused by an increase in cardiovascular and thermal strain (Siegler 699).

At the cellular level, dehydration causes hyper osmolality and cellular shrinkage, and the extent to which the body becomes dehydrated determines the degree that the cells become susceptible to oxidative damage. Results of one particular 2011 study, “Exercise-Induced Dehydration with and without Environmental Heat Stress Results in Increased Oxidative Stress” (Siegler 698) concluded that there was a rise in GSSG concentration after dehydration induced by exercise while at the same time, maintenance of euhydration caused these surges to lessen.

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