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We all know that staying properly hydrated is super important. But even running or exercising in cooler weather, our body still gets dehydrated, even if we don’t feel it.

But, how do we know if we are hydrating enough? What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration even in cooler weather?

Other than feeling thirsty, there are other common signs and symptoms of dehydration that people may overlook or not associate immediately with dehydration.

According to dehydration symptoms, here are both the common and less common signs and symptoms of dehydration to help us quickly recognize dehydration signs in our own body so that we can correct the problem and stay on top of our body’s hydration needs.

Signs And Symptoms Of Dehydration

1. Muscle Twitching and Muscle Cramps After Exercise

Running in hot and humid conditions, particularly if you sweat a lot, can increase the risk of dehydration andelectrolytes depletion.

Electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride, can also become depleted after a sweaty exercise because these electrolytes are lost in sweat These are an essential role in helping to control nerve impulses and contract and relax muscles.

Even if we try to hydrate well or we are working out indoors in a climate-controlled environment, we often sweat more during exercise than we think and feel, and dehydration can happen.

Most people naturally grab a water bottle and start hydrating after running and exercising because they experience the thirst signal, one of the classic symptoms of dehydration.

But another sign of dehydration after running or exercising that many people often aren’t aware is indeed a dehydration symptom- muscle twitching or muscle spasm.

Although there are other causes of muscle twitching after running or exercising, staying mindful of the other signs and symptoms of dehydration and low electrolyte levels after training, can help us determine if dehydration is the reason why our muscles twitch after working out.

When we run or train, and we are dehydrated, it increases the risk of heat illness because our body can’t deal with the stress, as well from the lack of sweating.

2. Increased Heart Rate

One of the signs and symptoms of dehydration is an elevated heart rate, during running or exercising.

As our blood volume decreases, our heart rate has to increase in order to maintain cardiac volume. This is because a lower blood volume means that our stroke volume, or the amount of blood pumped per beat of the heart, will decrease.

The faster our heart is beating, the more oxygen our heart is using and the more heat we are causing, further increasing our heart rate.

The effort level will feel all the more challenging if our heart rate increases.

Two important signs of dehydration during running or exercising to be mindful of, are an increase in heart rate, even if our intensity or pace is not intense.

In order to prevent dehydration during our training, the goal needs to be to hydrate on pace with the fluid we lose through sweat.

If our weight has dropped by more than one kilogram, we need to adjust our hydration plan moving forward, keeping in mind that we need to drink an additional 500ml for every kg lost. And it is more important to rehydrate with electrolytes after training if we feel symptoms of dehydration.

3. Bad Breath

A warning sign of dehydration is bad breath.

When we are dehydrated, the saliva in our mouth dries up, or there is less fluid to produce saliva, giving us a dry mouth, which allows bacteria to grow. Bad breath can be a potential sign of dehydration.

4. Dry Skin

A common sign of chronic dehydration is dry skin or blistering skin.

The skin loses elasticity, the cells and the fluid that fills the cells becomes depleted when we are dehydrated.

5. Headache

Headaches can be a sign and symptom of dehydration, including headaches upon waking up, during the day, or headaches after running or exercising.

This is because the brain is about 75% water by volume, and dehydration can temporarily shrink the brain tissue, which in turn, can trigger a headache.

6. Fatigue

Fatigue can be a dehydration symptom.

It’s important to maintain good circulation throughout our body. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients that are vital to our cells and tissues for not only proper functioning but also survival.

When we’re dehydrated, our brain and other tissues will not be as well filled up with blood, which means that the oxygen and nutrients getting to our brain, muscles, and organs decrease.

This can cause fatigue, muscle tightness, and even joint pain.

7. Slower Brain Function

Research shows that even mild to moderate dehydration can lower focus and working memory and can cause irritability and mood swings.

8. Constipation

Another one of the common signs that we are dehydrated is constipation.

When we don’t feel our dehydration, and are not drinking enough fluid, stool volume decreases, and the body tries to conserve fluid by reabsorbing more from the large intestines. This leads to dry, hard stool that can be difficult to pass.

Digestion will also slow overall if we are dehydrated.

9. Hunger and Sugar Cravings

Many people have heard the weight loss tip to drink more water.

Being properly hydrated is not only important for maintaining the optimal health and function of every cell in our body, but it also can help us stay full, and feel less hunger.

Another dehydration sign is sugar cravings, as the body needs enough fluid to break down stored glycogen into usable glucose for blood sugar.

Other common symptoms of dehydration include dark-coloured urine, decreased urine output, dizziness, weakness, joint pain, nausea, and shakiness.

How To Prevent Dehydration Even In Cool Weather

Even if we do our best to stay properly hydrated, almost everyone has experienced signs and symptoms of dehydration in long-distance runs or intense exercises.

However, it is important to stay on top of our hydration needs even when running in cooler weather in order to prevent chronic dehydration.

Research has found that about 80% of runners are chronically dehydrated.

According to research, women should drink at least 2.5 litres of water each day, and men should drink at least 3.5 litres daily.

If we feel more severe dehydration symptoms, it can also be helpful to have good rehydration with electrolytes and glucose.

Focus On Good Hydration During And After Running, Even In Cooler Weather, Feel Much Better And Less Pain Or Fatigue, And Enjoy Nice Strong Runs!


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