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Listening to My Body – Hydration

It’s easy to give other people advice.  Don’t eat those artificial foods!  Make sure to stretch before AND after exercise!  Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep!  STAY HYDRATED!  But listening to my own advice and my body’s warning signs seems to be a difficult task.

I thought that I’ve been pretty careful about staying hydrated and fueling these past few weeks…hmmm maybe not.  Today I woke up with the same headache that I had when I went to bed last night . But on top of that, I felt slightly dizzy, lightheaded and my fingertips were very dry.  I also still felt incredibly tired after having just slept for 8 hours and I was very thirsty.

Fitbit Flex Sleep Tracker

Fitbit Flex Sleep Tracker

Now I’ve been drinking close to 100 oz of water a day for the past few weeks because it’s been so hot, which I thought was plenty, but I think that on days that I’m exercising that might not be enough.  I sweat A LOT…I mean A LOT!  I am often sweating buckets after a warm up while other people still look refreshed and clean.  Lovely.  Add in the heat and humidity I’m just a hot mess….literally.  Knowing this, should I have been drinking more than 100 oz?    

Water Water Water!

Water Water Water!

Earlier this week I was drinking coconut water prior to my workouts in an attempt for better hydration and to get natural electrolytes in my system.  Coconut water is said to have four times the amount of potassium as a banana and easy to digest carbohydrates, so obviously many athletes swear by it.  I’m really not fond of the taste of coconut water, so it was a bit of a struggle to get it down, but I did it to help with my hydration.  But maybe I should’ve been drinking it post-workout instead of beforehand to replenish my system.           

Coconut Water

Coconut Water

Well obviously I’ve been doing something wrong after waking up feeling like I was in a daze.  Also, during the WOD yesterday, I had a HORRIBLE cramp on my left calf that stopped me in my tracks while running.  This has never happened to me before, not even during my marathon!  So clearly I was/am dehydrated, but I’m also wondering if I haven’t been providing my system with enough fuel to get through tough workouts in extreme heat.  For the past month, I’ve really been focusing on clean eating and avoiding grains, dairy and sugar to help with my colitis, and thankfully it’s been working wonders!  However, because of this I’m thinking I’m not getting enough carbohydrates to fuel my exercise, which is leading to dehydration and exhaustion.  Hmmm….always a dilemma.    

I’ve been trying to avoid sports drinks for hydration because it is full of sugar and artificial ingredients that I’ve been trying to avoid, but today I broke down and got some Gatorade.  

Gatorade

Almost immediately, I started feeling better.  My energy was restored!  Instead of wanting to take a nap, I wanted to head to the gym to workout! (I decided to skip class tonight due to my dizziness.)  Maybe there is something to be said about these highly artificial sports drinks.  Even though the ingredients aren’t the best for you, when your body is craving hydration, electrolytes and sodium, this seems to be the best way to replenish your system.  

Looking back on the past week or so, there were warning signs of my imminent dehydration, but I chose to ignore them and keep pushing myself.  This is par for the course for me…I tend to have difficulty finding my limits.  Only child issues at their finest 🙂  

So the goal for the next few days is fluids, fluids, fluids!  I’m going to take tomorrow off from exercise as well and hopefully get myself back to normal for a kickass WOD on Friday. 

Do you listen to your body or ignore the warning signs of a problem?

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13 Responses to Listening to My Body – Hydration

  1. Just curious, have you tried electrolyte enhanced waters? These have worked for me in the past when I’m trying to avoid Gatorade type drinks. As always, love your blog and look forward to reading about your adventures each week!

    • Thanks Laura 🙂
      I haven’t tried those, but I think that is going to be my next step. I’ve never been a fan of “artificial flavors” which is why I’m a big water drinker but I think my body is telling me I need more than water.

  2. Have you tried Nuun? http://nuun.com/ One of my friends who does triathlons introduced me to it. It has all the electrolyte goodness without sugar and yet still has light yummy flavors. It’s a win-win!

  3. Sarah, i have been struggling with that also and the second thing i do when I get a headache after taking Tylenol is grab a gatorade. Dehydration is usually the cause for my headaches as well, especially with this weather. There is some special stuff in gatorade that really replenishes me. I also bring it with me during my runs in this heat to stay ahead.

  4. I pound tea all day at work, which I know is technically a diuretic, but fluid is fluid, right? 🙂 I do, however, have an unfortunate tendencies to run through injuries… I’m looking at you, left knee.
    Jenn @ Fairest Run of All recently posted…Squirtgun to Your Head: Favorite WDW Ride?My Profile

  5. I’ve been dehydrated lately too and someone mentioned it could also be bc of a lack of salt? If you’re watching what you eat you might not be putting enough salt on your food, esp since you’re an athlete! I know salt helped me in the marathon last year!
    Jenn recently posted…Weekly Recap, 7/15 – 7/21My Profile

    • I was actually looking into that and I’m thinking sodium is one of the electrolytes that I’m lacking. Since Gatorade is so salty, I’m thinking that’s why it helped almost immediately.

      I’m a “salty sweater” so I’m sure I lose a lot of sodium while exercising. And I’ve been sweating A LOT in this heat lately…the box is more like a hot box these days… 🙂

  6. so important to hydrate! Most of my migraines are caused by not drinking enough. I need to step it up too!
    Bonnie recently posted…Cash Mob CT at Country Paint and Hardware in North Branford CTMy Profile

    • I’m sorry to hear you have migraine…ouch! I was surprised how I had such a horrible headache…definitely a sign of dehydration!

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