Summer is here, tennis peeps, and now, more than ever, you need to maintain proper hydration – on the courts, in the gym, at home – wherever!
Being dehydrated can wreak havoc on your body, causing symptoms you may not expect. Dehydration goes far beyond feeling a little thirsty, and can lead to bigger health problems down the road.
Here are 5 symptoms you may not have realized that are associated with lack of water:
1. Decreased Athletic Performance
This one is kind of obvious :-) Without adequate hydration, your on-court performance will suffer. Studies have shown that even just a 2% dehydration level can lead to a 10% drop in stamina. Any more than that, and you may as well forget about going a third set! It’s also important to drink water before, during and after your match or workout sesh so that your joints and muscles remain functioning properly.
2. Muscle Cramps
As a tennis player, you probably knew this one. Even if you haven’t experienced it yourself, you’ve no doubt seen team mates, opponents or the pros on TV afflicted with cramps. What happens is that they get dehydrated just enough to decrease their circulation, but they’re still pushing themselves to the max. That causes the extremely painful cramping in their muscles. Ouch! We don’t have personal trainers that can come give us a quick rub down while we sip electrolytes during a medical time out, so it’s crucial to drink water before, during and after your matches – or any form of exercise, for that matter!
3. Bad Breath
Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, and when you’re dehydrated, there is less saliva in your mouth to wash that bacteria away when you swallow. This means that the bacteria has a chance to multiply (and they definitely will!), and cause that rank odor known as halitosis.
Betcha didn’t know this one! H2O (or lack of) can actually impact your mood level. Without enough fluid, you can easily become irritated, unfocused and even fatigued.
5. Unsafe Driving
I know, it sounds crazy, doesn’t it, but recent study showed that more driving-related errors occurred when participants were dehydrated as opposed to when they were drinking water. This is because a lot of times, people skimp on drinking liquids prior to a long car ride so they don’t have to stop and use the bathroom.
What are some things that happen to you when you’re dehydrated? What are some tools you use to remember to drink water? Share your experience with us!