How to Avoid Dehydration During Exercise

Warrior House News | By Dana Gore
Posted: 04/02/2015 10:02GMT | Updated: 5 years ago

Dehydration is a very serious condition.

Unfortunately, many people suffer the effects of dehydration during their exercise program because the symptoms don’t make themselves known until it’s too late (if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated).

In fact, you may have even come across stories of kids suffering the effects of dehydration during practice sessions for school sports, sometimes resulting in fatalities.

So in an effort to make you aware of how to stay properly hydrated, especially during a workout session, there are a few simple guidelines you can follow.

I will share the symptoms of dehydration and treatment, followed by steps to prevent it.

Common Symptoms of Dehydration

Mild –

  • Heart pounding
  • Tired/sluggish feeling
  • Headache
  • Dry skin/mouth
  • Low blood pressure

Severe –

  • Not thinking clearly/not being alert/fogginess
  • Dizziness or weakness when trying to stand
  • Possibility of fainting
  • Extreme dryness of mouth and/or eyes
  • May pass little/no urine for 12 hours

Treatment of Dehydration

Drinking water will help to combat mild cases.

For more severe symptoms, however, the best thing to do is seek medical treatment.


Prevention is always the best course of action, and can be implemented by following a few easy steps.

Consider weighing yourself both before and after you exercise to gain an understanding of how much water you’ve used up during your workout, and how much you’ll need to replenish.

While moderate caffeine intake isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, alcohol should be avoided.

Otherwise, follow these guidelines:

  1. Drink 16-20 oz of water approximately 4 hours before exercise and another 8-12 oz 15 mins prior to activity.
  2. Drink 3-8 oz of water for every 15-20 mins of exercise if exercising for less than an hour – 3-8 oz of a sports drink every 15 mins if exercising for more than an hour (see link below for sports drink formula ratio).
  3. Drink 20-24 oz of water/sports drink post exercise for each pound of water lost.

Awareness is Your Friend

By having this understanding of the symptoms, treatment and prevention of dehydration, you could literally save yourself a big headache during your workout.

If you start to feel any of the above symptoms, slow down, cool off, rehydrate yourself and assess the situation to determine if additional help is needed.



* Selectively and Effectively Using Hydration for Fitness

* Fitness  Institute International, Inc Course Outline for Injury Prevention and Emergency Procedures

* Preventing Heat Illness During Summer Football Practice



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