What are the damages of dehydration?
An excessive loss of fluid (dehydration) impairs performance and has an adverse effect on health (Below et al., 1995; McConnel et al., 19977).
The higher the loss of fluid (kg), the bigger the decrease in body weight (%). Although weight loss may be a goal of yours, achieving it by dehydrating yourself is not a good way to go.
Dehydration starts off small – headaches and fatigue, however it gets more and more serious leading to hallucinations and potential circulatory collapse and heat stroke.
Are you dehydrated?
A study by the University of Connecticut researchers found that urine colour correlated very accurately with hydration status (Armstrong et al., 1998). Urine described as ‘very pale yellow’ or ‘pale yellow’ indicates you are within 1% of optimal hydration.
Next time you go to the toilet you can check out for yourself to see how hydrated you are, if your urine is any darker than ‘pale yellow’ I suggest you get drinking!
How much water should you be consuming?
There is strong belief that we must consume 8 glasses of water per day to stay healthy, however this is a myth. A 2008 review of studies from the University of Pennsylvania in the US concluded that there is no clear evidence of any benefits from drinking so much.
1.5-2 litres of water is often the quoted amount of water needed to maintain hydration however, if you want a more personalised number, here is the simply equation we use for our clients:
Bodyweight in KG x 0.033 = litres of water needed each day to remain hydrated
*a small rule of thumb we use is to add 500ml of water for every 30 minutes of exercise you completed that day.