Feeling Parched

The negative effects of dehydration and how to stay hydrated.


HELPFUL PINCHING: Studies show that a person can tell if they are dehydrated simply by pinching the skin on your hand which is also known as the “skin turgor” test. Skin turgor is the skin’s elasticity. Bad skin turgor is a sign of fluid loss or lack of fluid in the system. Skin with good turgor immediately returns back to the hand after it is pinched while skin with bad turgor takes time to return back to its normal position. Lack of skin turgor happens when there is moderate to severe lack or loss of fluids.

75% of Americans have suffered from chronic dehydration, and have been dehydrated at least once in their lives. Dehydration occurs when more fluid is lost than taken in. Two symptoms of dehydration are cramping and fatigue, but it is easily treatable by drinking water. Athletes suffer from dehydration due to the direct effect of losing water because of how much they sweat.

Dehydration negatively affects the body and could impact how an athlete performs during a game.

“Everything from affecting your energy level, to cramping and overheating,” health teacher Rachel Stone said.

So, how does one know if they’re dehydrated? Our bodies do not tell us exactly.

“Your body is good at masking if you’re dehydrated, but specialists say if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated,” Stone said.

Your body is good at masking if you’re dehydrated, but specialists say if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated

— Stone

Water can be obtained from some foods, so athletes must have a balanced diet and know the effects of what food they are eating.

“Having a balanced diet is good, but hydration is on top,” Stone said

Physical activity becomes difficult if athletes are dehydrated, and a side effect of being thirsty can be a distraction.

“It makes it harder to do the routines,” ballet dancer Eryn Throneberry said.

Many athletes feel some sort of discomfort or even pain while exercising if dehydrated.

“I notice that when I get dehydrated I become sort of dizzy and lightheaded,” Throneberry said.

While staying hydrated is an important part of being active, it is also important to be mindful of how much water you drink at once.

“My instructor wouldn’t let us drink too much water at one time, or else you will get nauseous,” Throneberry said.

Athletes need to stay hydrated to exercise healthily and safely, however it is important for everyone to stay hydrated