Dehydration can occur in virtually every physical activity scenario. It doesn’t have to be hot. You don’t have to have visible perspiration. You can become dehydrated in the water, at a pool or lake, or skiing on a winter day.
Be alert for conditions that increase your fluid loss through sweat. Know the signs of dehydration. Early signs are:
- Flushed skin
- Premature fatigue
- Increased body temperature
- Faster breathing and pulse rate
- Increased perception of effort
- Decreased exercise capacity
Later signs include:
- Increased weakness
- Labored breathing with exercise
Drinking is the only way to rehydrate and cool your body from the inside out. Sports drinks are more appropriate than water for athletes engaged in moderate- to high-intensity exercise that lasts an hour or longer. Rehydrate after exercise by drinking enough fluid to replace fluid losses during exercise.