Drinking an ample amount of water plays a vital role in your health more than you think. When drinking the recommended amount of water, your immune system becomes that much healthier and can fight off illness as well as prevent other injuries. As hot weather begins to sneak up on us staying hydrated will not only reduce the risk of being dehydrated but also the risk for many common orthopedic injuries.
Dehydration and Orthopedic Injuries
As you engage in physical activity in the heat your body is at higher risk for heat cramps if not properly hydrating. The body loses too much water during the activity and as a result the muscles tense up. When this occurs, injury can occur. Typically when this type of cramping occurs due to lack of water, muscle strains, tears and bone fractures are common.
Heat exhaustion is also a common side effect of lack of proper water consumption. The body’s temperature will rise and dizziness and fatigue can overcome the person as well as headaches. These symptoms can make performing any physical activity in the heat difficult and because of that an orthopedic injury can occur. When performing any physical activity in the heat, always hydrate.
Challenges to Staying Hydrated
Staying hydrated can be difficult when active but it needs to be made a priority. Always have an ample water supply even if the activity is low-impact. When working out there is a possibility to lose up to 3 quarts of water per hour so it is crucial to replenish that supply to not become dehydrated. Even though there are many options out there for athletes to keep them hydrated during workouts, the best to consume is still water as it contains no added sugar and calories. Here are some helpful tips from orthopedic doctors for staying hydrated as you exercise and decreasing your risk of dehydration-related injuries.
If being subject to hot temperatures, consume 20 ounces of water 2 hours prior to beginning any physical activity outside to avoid dehydration and orthopedic injuries. As you are working out, continuing drinking 10 ounces every 20 minutes to avoid dehydration. If you feel the slightest bit dizzy or lightheaded, there is a good chance you are not drinking enough and you need to step up your drinking game.
Even after you have stopped working out, continue drinking. Consume about 8 oz post workout to avoid cramping. Always listen to your body. If you need a break, take one. If you feel like you need more water, drink some. If you are lightheaded or dizzy, sit down. No physical activity is worth risking dehydration or an orthopedic injury because of lack of water consumption.
Always pay attention to your body and be mindful of what it is telling you. An orthopedic injury can be painful and hinder your overall daily life for days, weeks or even months. If you need to participate in an activity in the heat, ensure that you are consuming the recommended amount of water as well as paying attention to any symptoms that may be associated with heat exhaustion/ dehydration.
If you have suffered from an orthopedic injury or sports injury or would like to learn more about how to stay safe while working out in the heat, contact our orthopedic doctors at (404) 855-2141 for a consultation.