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Signs You May Be Dehydrated And How To Combat It

by Natasha Miller on Sunday 15 August 2021

Dehydration significantly affects performance, brain function, mood and mental health.

We have all felt dehydrated at some point in our lives. When it comes to working out, being even slightly dehydrated negatively impacts your performance both physically & mentally.

But How?

Water plays an important role in maintaining healthy brain function to balance our mood & reduce stress. It facilitates blood flow & oxygen to the brain whilst signaling the transport of nutrients in the body that is required for energy, muscular performance & growth. This is why it is extremely important to replace the fluids you lost during exercise, to ensure you’re providing your body the best chance to perform at an optimal level.

What Happens When We Are Dehydrated? 

Among other health risks, studies suggest that dehydration may increase your risk of anxiety, depression and other unhealthy mental states including fatigue, tension & sleep. According to Beyond Blue (2013), even mild dehydration can affect mood, causing irritability and restlessness.

Water loss of just 2% has been seen to impair cognitive abilities, decrease muscle endurance and impact your ability to complete further muscular exercises (American College of Sports Medicine).

So How Do We Know We Are Dehydrated?

Here are some signs you might be dehydrated and 5 tips to help your water intake.

Dehydration symptoms

  • thirsty
  • dry mouth
  • skin changes, including dryness, redness
  • Dark yellow urine
  • constipation
  • higher blood pressure
  • fast heart rate
  • sleepiness or fatigue
  • headache or nausea
  • irritability

5 Tips To Help Your Water Intake

Start your day off right

I always have a glass of water next to my bed to drink as soon as I get up. We are in bed for an average of 7 hours so it’s important to hydrate what you have lost in the night.

Keep your water close

Grab yourself a pretty water bottle that you will want to keep with you. Every time you see it, take a sip. I love my @frankgreen_official water bottle. It’s the right size to take with me everywhere, comes in bright colours and are also sustainable.

Set a walk and water alarm

Taking your essential lunch time walk might also be a great time to get in the essential water. Take your water bottle with you & sip while walking.

Eat water-rich fruits and vegetables

Water is the best way to hydrate you, but for those that find water boring, here’s an additional way to get more water in (on top of drinking water).

Try these:

  • Cucumber (95% water)
  • Lettuce (95% water)
  • Watermelon (92% water)
  • Zucchini (90% water)
  • Tomatoes
  • Apples
  • Broths
  • Green/peppermint tea

 

Drink all your water hours before bed

Getting all the water in well before bedtime means you’re less likely to need to pee in the night or wake up with a headache.

Track it throughout the day so you hit your water goal just after dinner to give your body a chance to absorb it before bedtime. 

Want to learn more?

Tash is a Personal Trainer & Wellbeing Coach at Virgin Active St Leonards. She brings a unique  style of training merging Pilates inspired movements with resistance to improve posture, movement, build strength & promote long lasting weightloss. Also a Certified Wellness Coach & training Nutritional Coach, she focuses on empowering her clients to build sustainable practices to create long lasting change.

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