Tigers News · Hydration … Critical To Health

Note: the varsity boys’ soccer and JV matches tonight will include a hydration and cooling break at the midpoint of each half.  The girls’ varsity soccer match at North Mont tomorrow will begin at 6:30p (one hour later).  All outdoor practices will include ample time for athletes to rehydrate.  But clearly the current forecast is warm and humid … so make sure your athletes are drinking plenty of fluids to replace what is lost during physical activity.  Here is some information to keep in mind.

“Hydration is important because the body is comprised mostly of water, and the proper balance between water and electrolytes in our bodies really determines how most of our systems function, including nerves and muscles,” says Larry Kenney, PhD, a professor of physiology and kinesiology at Penn State.

Drinking fluids serves a range of purposes in our bodies, such as removing waste through urine; controlling body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Without it, the body begins to shut down, as seen in Kiley’s experience at sea. Symptoms of severe dehydration include altered behavior, such as severe anxiety, confusion, or not being able to stay awake; faintness that is not relieved by lying down; an inability to stand or walk; rapid breathing; a weak, rapid pulse; and loss of consciousness.

While striking a water balance in our bodies is something that happens naturally as we consume three meals a day coupled with beverages, most people aren’t aware that the body is only one or two percentage points away from a problem.

“Very slight changes in body water may create some performance issues in sports; as little as a 2% decrease in body water can lead to dehydration and performance detriments in sports,” says Kenney. “When your water levels decrease by higher levels like 3% or 4%, there are physiological changes that occur that may have health consequences, such as increased heart rate and body temperature.”