Sugar and Dehydration

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All you weekend warriors listen up; this blog post will teach you the difference on the do's and don'ts for exercise related dehydration.

First and foremost, what is dehydration?

Dehydration is defined as the excessive loss of body fluid.  Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, decreased urination, low blood pressure, rapid pulse, and lethargy.  Simply drinking small amounts of fluid may be sufficient if you are suffering from mild dehydration.  More severe cases call for special electrolyte formulas and even a trip to the hospital for an IV if the case is severe.

So how do we not make that trip to the hospital?

Simple, stay away from sugar before, and during your athletic or exercise bout.  Yes, it is a quick fix if your blood sugar drops too low.  However, you shouldn't allow your body to get there in the first place.  More on that in a minute.

You see, sugar is a funny thing.  Many people love it, but it has way too many negative check marks to make it a part of your daily intake.  Sugar can dehydrate you if it gets to very high levels in your blood.  If your kidneys start producing more urine to try and eliminate the sugar and you lose enough fluid, dehydration could set in.

I blame these high sugar “endurance” drinks for your dehydration.  Your body can and will suffer from a blood sugar drop when performing at it's highest level for extended periods of time after consuming these type of drinks.  Low blood sugar symptoms for example are blurred vision, feeling hungry or like you want to vomit, feeling jittery, short-tempered, or if severe enough, could cause you to pass out.  The reason for this is when you consume sugar, your bodies blood sugar levels go up.  To combat this, your body releases insulin to bring your blood sugar back down, and more often than not, it levels it out below where it actually was before consuming the sugar.

So all in all, consuming sugar filled endurance drinks can easily cause dehydration and low blood sugar.  I suggest looking into something of more of a complex carbohydrate formula for excessive athletic events. Something in which the carbohydrate source comes from complex carbohydrates.  The types of carbohydrates will level your blood sugar and give you hours of energy to compete at your highest with no crash and no fear of dehydration.


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