The Effects of Dehydration on an Athlete!
Dehydration can have devastating effects on an athlete. Especially those competing in elite endurance events, such as: marathons, triathlons, obstacle course races, and cross fit competitions.
Dehydration affects performance during the event and contributes to complications following the event.
Dehydration reduces endurance and causes significant changes in the body. Dehydration causes a shift in the body’s normal distribution of fluid. This means that dehydration causes: lower blood volume, decreased blood flow to skin, decreased sweating, poor heat dissipation, higher core temperatures, and increased muscle glycogen use. All of these factors lead to lower cardiac output, fatigue, poor performance, and risk of complications such as heat exhaustion and muscle breakdown.
One major complication of endurance events and dehydration is rhabdomyolysis. When muscles become fatigued, strained, and over worked they leak a substance, myoglobin, into the blood stream.
Myoglobin can block the kidneys’ filtration system and lead to kidney failure. Muscles are more susceptible to injury when a person is dehydrated. Athletes who compete in marathons, triathlons, and extreme weight lifting competition are at an increased risk.
What can Athletes do?
It is extremely important to stay hydrated prior to and after an event. It is often difficult to orally consume the large amount of water needed to stay adequately hydrated. You don’t need just water, but important electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals as well.
Recovery Hydration Therapy can provide you with IV fluid therapy prior to and after an event. An IV is placed and a combination of minerals, vitamins, and electrolytes are infused. The treatment is tailored to the athlete’s specific needs. The treatments often include, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Calcium and Magnesium.
Don’t risk complications from dehydration. IV fluid therapy is available and quickly becoming an essential part of competitive training and recovery!
Meredith Leach Snyder, MD
Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician