When you hear the word dehydration (not enough water in the body), there’s a good chance that you automatically think of the heat; however, properly maintaining fluid balance in your body before, during and after physical activity is important year round, regardless of the weather.
Unfortunately, many athletes, including those participating in high school sports, begin their workouts dehydrated. This is even true during the cold weather months when many individuals do not think that they need to be concerned about hydration. On the opposite extreme is when athletes consume too much fluid (hyperhydrated). Both dehydration and hyperhydration can compromise athletic performance and increase health risks.
It is important for athletes to have access to water, but to also be aware of the risks of overdrinking which can lead to a condition called exercise-associated hyponatremia caused by excessive consumption of fluids – this includes sports drinks as well as water.
There are several signs and symptoms of dehydration and hyponatremia to consider.