What Happens When You Are Dehydrated?

Most of us know when it is time to drink. When one is on the middle of a workout, playing in the grounds where the game is already intense, or out in the running track and needs to finish a few more laps, it can be troublesome to just stop and have a drink. That’s actually more good reason for you to have the best water bottles for gym that you can fit in your backpack or just carry around to help you whenever you need water or any other liquid to quench your thirst.

Sometimes, you can’t really help but neglect your body when it is already signaling that it is about to get dehydrated. There are so many reasons one can have to satisfy oneself for not responding to the body’s urge for water. We get you. Not everyone can get as busy as you are. There could also be a greater chance that the gym you are working out does not have a water dispenser. Perhaps, you have just run out of water in your water bottle. Or, maybe, just maybe, you don’t really know how much water you really need to drink each day and how frequently.

Read on to know more about how your body responds when it is dehydrated and what you should do to keep it hydrated.

What happens to the body when it is dehydrated?

If you don’t drink enough water, especially while you are working out, there is a great chance that the quality of your performance will be affected.

Not only that. There are also considerable effects of dehydration that can have a drastic effect on  your performance. Once you lose enough water to become dehydrated, you will feel your head is aching. You might feel dizzy, nauseated, and will perspire even more. Later, you will feel too tired, will have difficulty concentrating and breathing. Then, you might faint if you still won’t give your body what it needs.

When you are dehydrated, there is less water in your blood. Your body needs water to keep it moving. It allows every cell in the body to function properly. It gets oxygen moving to every part of the body. If you deny your body of this essential element, you might end up having a seizure.

A very good indicator of dehydration is thirst and a dark-colored urine. Dehydration can also cause digestive problems as well as constipation. It can even make you feel hungrier as the dehydrated brain takes hunger for thirst. When you feel any of these symptoms, your body might be needing water.

How much water do you really need to drink every day?

There are different factors that influence your water intake.

Although we have been accustomed to the idea that we all need to drink eight 8 oz of water each day, there are still a lot of considerations when we think about a particular need that may require more or less of this.

For instance, competing in an athletic game will definitely have different requirements compared to someone who is only doing a 30-minute work out session in the gym.

The location and the weather where you also influence your body’s need for less or more water.  During the summer season, or if it is quite humid or hot where you are, you will sweat more and frequently. That means you will need to replenish the lost water more frequently.

Your age and your sex also determine how much water you need for the day. Obviously a younger person will need less than an adult, and female less than his male counterpart. But if you are pregnant or have a greater BMI (body mass index) there is a greater chance that you may need more water than usual or than a man who is half your body mass.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and conducted by Michael Farrell of the Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University in Australia, and his colleagues, stressed that our body is the best indicator when we really need to take a drink. The group found out that we need to drink only when we are thirsty.

Drinking more than what your body needs will only put you to danger. This can cause hyponatremia. It is a condition when blood sodium levels become abnormally low. Hyponatremia may result to rapid brain swelling, coma, and death.

How much water do you need to drink before exercising?

It is quite easy to bring a bottle or jug with you if you need to go to the gym for a workout. However it’s not just in the gym where your need for water happens.

While you are sleeping your body and brain re-energize your cells, clear waste and also create memories. That means they don’t really shut off when you go to sleep. So, at the start of the next day you will feel that you are thirsty when you wake up.  It’s best that you have a glass of water to start the day. Drinking water throughout the day when you need it will have a great difference in your energy level by the time you will start your work out.

You also need to make sure that you get enough water throughout your workout session.

Don’t let your water level to dip. This can keep you at your best throughout the session. You can set a timer to remind you to rehydrate every 15 minutes or so. This is quite important especially when you are training or doing a workout for long hours.

What are the signs that you are dehydrated?

At times, you may feel that you aren’t thirsty, when in fact your system is already wanting for you to replace the fluids that you have lost after sweating so much while exercising. Here are signs that you are already dehydrated.

  1. Muscle cramps.
  2. Dry mouth.
  3. Your skin does not return to normal right away when you pinch it.
  4. You feel dizzy.
  5. You gasp for breath.

If you see or feel these signals, pause for a moment and take a sip. It takes about 15-30 minutes for the water that you drank to leave your stomach and be transferred to other parts of your body. So can’t just go back to whatever you are doing after rehydrating. You’ll need to rest for awhile or you may faint.

Take it easy even while you are doing a workout or exercising. Sip smartly from time to time and be at your best throughout the session.

Iron For Pregnancy: How Much Is Enough?

Expecting moms like you need about two times that the amount of iron that you usually need prior to pregnancy. As you might have already noted, your baby depends on you for its nourishment. Hence, your body uses more iron to make extra blood that will support your baby’s nutritional needs. Even while most pregnant women are aware of this, still about half of the population of pregnant women do not get enough of this essential mineral.

Where can you get iron for pregnancy?

Consuming food sources that are rich in iron as well as taking iron supplements that your primary health provider may recommend can keep you from an insufficient amount of iron in your body. Eating iron-rich foods and taking extra iron as your doctor recommends can help your body maintain a sufficient amount of iron.

Why do you need iron?

The body needs iron to produce extra blood (hemoglobin) that you and your baby need during pregnancy. Iron is also needed to transport oxygen from the lungs to the other parts of your body and also to your baby’s body. With a sufficient level of iron in your body, you will feel mentally and physically alert.

Making sure that your body is receiving enough iron can prevent the development of a health condition known as iron deficiency anemia. This happens when there are very few red blood cells in the body, making you feel too exhausted most of the time. This condition can also result in having an unhealthy pregnancy as well as early childbirth.

What is the recommended daily iron intake?

The daily recommended iron intake for expecting moms like you is about 27 milligrams (mg) of every day during your pregnancy. However, if you’re breastfeeding, you need to get around 9 mg of iron every day if you are about 19 years old or older. Those are breastfeeding and are aged 18 and below will need about 10 mg of iron every day.

When is the best time to take iron supplements?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends to start taking a low-dose iron supplement (30 mg each day) during your first prenatal appointment. Most prenatal vitamins provide this amount of iron for the pregnant women.

What foods are rich sources of iron?

Animal-based foods like meat, poultry, as well as plant-based foods are rich in iron content. Iron supplements are also adequate sources of this essential mineral. Iron present in these food sources are classified into two types:

  • Heme iron. This is the type of iron that you can get from animals. This is also the type of iron that your body absorbs easily. You get heme iron from beef, chicken, turkey, pork, and other animal meat. Red meat has a higher iron content, however.
  • Non-heme iron. This type of iron is what you get from plant-based foods like beans, spinach, tofu, whole grain and iron-fortified bread, as well as ready-to-eat-cereals that are made with iron.

It may not be easy to have the right level of iron in the body during pregnancy. This is especially true for those who have special concerns during pregnancy. Even if you try to consume the healthiest food available or are following a healthy diet, you may still have an insufficient amount of iron that your developing baby requires.

If you have an aversion to foods that are rich in iron, as well as if you have morning sickness and are not getting enough rest at night because of your pregnancy, then you may still need supplementation to achieve a sufficient level of iron that you and your baby’s bodies can use.

During prenatal visits, it is best that you inform your doctor of your condition. He may also require you to undergo a blood test or a ferritin test to determine the iron level in your body.

Do you need to take iron supplements?

Taking an iron supplement can be another way to get enough iron each day. Most prenatal vitamins contain the recommended amount of iron. However, your primary health provider will still check your iron levels from time to time. If he/she takes note that your iron level is below the acceptable level, you may be advised to take an extra iron supplement.

Does taking any iron supplements create any side effect?

Doctors recommend that pregnant women like you take the recommended amount each day for a healthy pregnancy. Taking more than the daily allocated amount may cause  intoxication. This may be accompanied by symptoms like nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Serious cases of iron overdose may result to dizziness, drowsiness, fast or weak pulse, and even a low blood pressure.

For an iron supplement that you may want to take, always consult your doctor to ensure that you get to take the best iron supplement for pregnancy.

Other foods that you need to take while taking iron supplements

Eating foods that contain vitamin C, like tomatoes and oranges will also help in the absorption of iron from the foods that are rich in this essential mineral. Vitamin C helps the body to absorb non-heme iron when the two are taken together during a meal.

While there are foods that supports absorption of iron in the body, there are foods that can prevent the body from absorbing the same. Coffee, tea, milk, whole grains, and dairy products will inhibit absorption of iron in the body.


Pregnancy demands much from the expectant mother. It is your responsibility to know what will best benefit your health and your baby’s. Do not skip a meeting with your doctor and allow him/her to know every development in your condition. You will also need to notify your significant others or your secondary health providers of the doctor’s recommendation so that they can also remind you from time to time of things that will benefit you and your baby during pregnancy.