Running, biking, weight lifting, power lifting, or just about anything else that is physically active can use up a lot of the body's water and mineral reserves and cause dehydration.
It is very important to know what a symptom of dehydration is.
The sooner you recognize it, the sooner you'll be able to remedy the situation.
One very big, yet often missed symptom of dehydration is fatigue. Fatigue can be a subtle or overwhelming feeling and can be caused by many factors, not just by dehydration, so it's easily overlooked.
Another symptom of dehydration is headache.
Headaches, like fatigue can be caused by a variety of different things, so it's common to forget that it could be a sign of dehydration. Sometimes you may feel a lack of energy or you might get lightheaded.
Some individuals may feel nothing at all, but there are still clues. Urine should be light in color and have little to no odor; but if you're dehydrated it tends to be darker in color, sometimes even cloudy looking and there's often a strong odor.
Both short term and long term dehydration can cause serious healthy problems.
As mentioned earlier, all types of athletes are at risk. Group sports usually have a coach that reminds the team when to rehydrate and often provides them with a mineral rich, replenishing drink.
For those of you who weight lift or run, you're typically solo.
So it's extra important for those who workout alone to pay close attention for even the slightest symptom of dehydration.
The best medicine in this case is prevention. If you prepare properly
with lots of fresh water and electrolytes before your workout, AND make
it a point to drink electrolyte water during and after your workout,
you should be covered.
Just stay alert for ANY symptom of dehydration that might creep up, and take action immediately.
Do not wait until you're done working out or ready to leave the gym, that could be too late.
Chronic, or long term dehydration is quite serious and depending on the severity, may require medical help.
One way to tell if you may be chronically dehydrated is to hold your hand palm facing the ground, and pinch the skin on the back of that hand with your other hand. Once you let go of your skin, it should immediately fall back into place, like elastic.
If it does not immediately fall back into place this could be a symptom of dehydration and it would be wise for you to seek some kind of medical help.
All in all, be prepared with lots of electrolyte water and stay alert for any little symptoms. As you've learned, dehydration is serious and can sneak up on you quite easily.