Preventing Sports-Related Dehydration


Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 in Sports Medicine

The St. Louis Blues are hoping to secure a Stanley Cup in 2019. The hard work of the players is paying off, with each of them giving their all every game. But did you know that hockey players and other athletes lose a ton of water during a game and can quickly become dehydrated?

Most people lose as much as 1 qt (1 L) to 2 qt (2 L) of fluid during 1 hour of exercise. When you are not drinking enough fluids, your muscles get tired quickly, and you may have leg cramps while walking or running.

If you are an athlete, you can lose as much as 3 qt (3 L) of fluid an hour during an intense workout. Fluid loss in endurance activities such as distance running, cycling, strenuous hiking, or cross-country skiing can be severe. These types of activities can quickly lead to heat exhaustion.

In endurance athletes, dehydration can cause symptoms, called post-extreme endurance syndrome (PEES). Symptoms of PEES include decreased body temperature, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, and an inability to drink fluids.

Distance runners and other endurance athletes are not the only ones to have problems with dehydration. Football, basketball, and hockey players all may lose large amounts of fluid during a game. High school and college wrestlers often decrease their fluid intake and promote excessive sweating before a match in order to "make weight."

Athlete or not, it's important to protect yourself from dehydration in extremely hot or dry weather and at high elevations. +