Video Summary:  7 Signs of Dehydration

Summer is in full swing here in Connecticut and we’re experiencing humidity and temperatures in the 80s and 90s so it seems appropriate to talk about signs of dehydration.

Hi there!  I’m Margie Bowen.

I’m a licensed USA Cycling Coach with a specialty, and multiple certifications, in mountain bike instruction.

In my mountain bike skills clinics and private coaching, I teach people the skills they need in order to perform the maneuvers that make mountain biking so much fun.  I also help them to increase the FUN factor while decreasing the crash factor.

So let’s talk about dehydration…

Back in 2010 I was doing a mountain bike race at Pat’s Peak.  It was 101 degrees in the shade and very humid. The conditions were so bad I ended up dehydrated and in the first aid area at the ski resort.  I finished the race but couldn’t maintain focus and hit a tree with my shoulder on the downhill.  They fixed up my shoulder and started pumping fluids into me.  I made podium somehow, but I told myself it just wasn’t worth it.

I’d like to share some symptoms and signs of dehydration with you so you know what to look for if you’re out exercising in the heat.

1)  This may seem obvious, but if you are extra thirsty, your body is initiating a thirst response to try to encourage you to drink more fluids.

2)  If you’re fatigued, sluggish or feeling weak, you should probably slow down, find some shade, get your fluids, stop exercising and get into air conditioning.

3)  Getting lightheaded, dizzy or faint, especially when you get up from sitting or lying down.

4)  If your heart rate isn’t normal, whether you use a heart rate monitor or not, you may be able to sense that your heart rate is not right.  Or if you have palpitations that’s also a very good sign that you may be dehydrated.

5)  If you have muscle cramps your electrolytes may be out of balance, especially sodium and potassium.  I use a Hammer Nutrition product called Endurolytes and they make a few different forms. You can get it in capsules, powder and tablets called FIZZ that you can put in a water bottle before or after exercise to help replenish your electrolytes.

6)  Your body is really smart and if it’s sensing that you’re getting dehydrated, it’s going to try to limit the amount of fluids that are excreted.  So, if you have dark urine or you don’t have the need to pee for quite a while, that’s your body trying to hold on to fluids to prevent you from being dehydrated.

7)  If your mood is off or your concentration is impaired, that’s another sign to look for.

So look out for these symptoms when you’re out exercising in the heat and hopefully they’ll help you.

Take these signs seriously because your body is trying to communicate warning signs!

Until next time, happy trails!

Coach Margie Bowen




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