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The Importance of Staying Hydrated: Understanding Dehydration and Electrolytes

Updated: Jun 5

Dehydration can affect anyone, regardless of age or health status. It's a common experience, a reminder that our bodies are not invincible and need our care and attention. 

A girl drinking from a water bottle

The human body loses water daily through perspiration, breathing, urination, and bowel movements. Water, about 60% of our body weight, is crucial for survival. It moistens tissues, protects internal organs, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, and dissolves nutrients from food so that the body can absorb them. Water is LIFE!

The Effects of Dehydration

When you're dehydrated, cellular processes may slow down, leading to feelings of fatigue or tiredness, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, and sleepiness. 

Other symptoms of dehydration include decreased urination, decreased skin elasticity, and dry mouth and mucous membranes (lips, gums, nostrils). These symptoms occur because the body is trying to preserve as much water as possible, leading to less frequent urination and dryness in areas that typically stay moist.

Other Effects of Dehydration 

Dehydration can affect athletic performance, causing fatigue and reduced endurance. Two studies found that combat sports and mixed martial arts athletes who were dehydrated had worse muscle strength and endurance. The effects of dehydration persisted even after rehydration, indicating the importance of proper hydration for athletes. 

Acute Dehydration Impairs Endurance Without Modulating Neuromuscular Function : This study examined the influence of acute dehydration on neuromuscular function.
Repeat Effort Performance Is Reduced 24 Hours After Acute Dehydration in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes This study sought to determine the influence of acute dehydration on physical performance and physiology in mixed martial arts (MMA).

How Dehydration Affects Your Massage

Dehydration can also significantly affect the quality of your massage and bodywork results! As your massage therapist kneads and works the soft tissue, fluid gets pumped out, flowing through the lymphatics and circulatory system and to the kidneys. Dehydration can strain the kidneys, possibly affecting their ability to flush out metabolic waste. This can lead to muscle soreness and reduced effectiveness of the massage. Therefore, maintaining proper hydration is crucial for optimal massage and bodywork results.  

Sometimes, your therapist can feel the effects of hydration or lack thereof in your tissues. Hydrated muscles are softer and more pliable, not sticky and dense. 

What are the signs of dehydration?

Common ways to recognize signs of dehydration include:

  • Dry mouth

  • Dizziness

  • Thirst

  • Infrequent Urination

  • Fatigue

  • Dry Skin / Dry Lips

  • Muscle Cramps / Tightness

  • Dark-Colored Urine

These are all signs that you could use more fluids.

Understanding the symptoms of dehydration is not just about knowledge; it's about empowerment. Early recognition and treatment of dehydration can prevent its progression and alleviate its symptoms. Drinking water and replenishing lost electrolytes can be an effective treatment strategy. This puts you in control of your health. Remember, seeking medical attention is essential if these symptoms worsen or persist. 

Understanding the Role of Electrolytes

While it's common knowledge that drinking water is essential for staying hydrated, it's equally important to understand the role of electrolytes. These minerals, which carry an electric charge in your body's cells and blood, are not just for hydration but also many other bodily functions. Grasping this lesser-known aspect of health can empower you to take better care of your body.

One of the most important electrolytes is salt. It helps maintain the balance of fluids in your body, regulates blood pressure, and helps your nerves and muscles function correctly. When you sweat or lose fluids, you're not just losing water - you're also losing electrolytes like salt. Replacing these lost electrolytes is crucial for staying adequately hydrated. You can replenish electrolytes naturally by consuming foods such as bananas, oranges, spinach, and yogurt, all rich in various electrolytes.

Stay Hydrated With Electrolyte Drink Mix

So, how can you maintain a proper balance of electrolytes and stay hydrated? The key is hydration control. This involves understanding your body's hydration needs, recognizing the signs of dehydration, and taking appropriate measures to replenish fluids and electrolytes. By practicing hydration control, you can ensure your body is always adequately hydrated. 

One of the most convenient and effective ways to maintain a proper balance of electrolytes and stay hydrated is by using an electrolyte drink mix. It's not just about drinking large quantities of water; it's about ensuring that your body gets the right balance of water and electrolytes. Adding a pack of LMNT Electrolyte Drink Mix to your water bottle can do wonders for your hydration. This mix is designed to replenish the electrolytes lost during physical activity or sweating. It is a reassuring solution, perfect for staying hydrated during a sauna session or on the go.

LMNT hydration electrolyte drink mix
LMNT Electrolyte Drink Mixes

This drink mix is sold at Bull City Soles, and it's a convenient and delicious way to ensure you're getting the necessary electrolytes. So, next time you're feeling thirsty, remember to replenish your water and electrolytes.


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