Is Dehydration While Swimming Dangerous?
In fact, swimmers sweat while underwater. Swimming is a water sport and movement due to the motor of the whole body. Swimming makes a strong impact on hands and feet, making these two parts work continuously. Thanks to that, swimmers can overcome other obstructing factors with certain speeds.
Thanks to the other basic elements of water, swimmers can move forward. The basic elements of water are many such as thrust from below, drag, lift force, …
Because of having to operate continuously and bear so much resistance, swimmers sweat without knowing it. Let’s see this phenomenon reasons why and how to avoid them.
Why can swimmers sweat and how do you know that you’re sweating?
Based on an Australian study, researchers found that on average swimmers lose about 125ml of sweat per kilometer of swimming. Of course, you won’t see this sweat loss but losing perspiration when swimming does exist. We won’t see every single drop of sweat or a wet back when we swim, but science has proven that sweat falls when we exercise.
Because this is a very normal response of the body. Our bodies are regulated to cool themselves under certain conditions, even when swimming. What makes swimmers not realize they sweat because the water is wrapped around them makes them easily mistakenly think they are not dehydrated.
What can losing perspiration cause?
When you sweat, you’re losing hydration and electrolytes. To be more specific:
Dehydration occurs when you are using more fluids than you are drinking. This negatively affects your body as it prevents it from performing its normal functions. Signs of dehydration include thirst, irritability, headache, weakness, dizziness, cramps, and heartburn. Excessive dehydration can lead to vomiting, nausea, fainting, and ultimately heat shock.
Dehydration of just 1-2% of total body weight starts to impact performance. When your body doesn’t have enough fluids, it causes your heart rate to spike, which will make your workout feel more difficult.
Electrolytes will also flow out of the sweat you release. Electrolytes help our bodies function well by keeping our pH in balance and regulated. They aid in building new tissue, helping with blood clotting, controlling muscle contractions, and regulating fluid levels.
What can you do to prevent dehydration?
The American Institute of Medicine recommends that men aged 19-30 should drink 3 liters/day, while women aged 19-30 should drink 2 liters/day.
That is the recommended amount of water for the average adult, however, swimmers should be aware of the amount of water they lose while swimming. It is very difficult because they often do not know if they sweat or not, let alone sweat a lot or less.
The most accurate way to test an athlete’s level of dehydration is to test the urine. Light yellow to pale yellow urine indicates normal hydration, darker urine indicates more severe dehydration. In addition, athletes can recognize dehydration by other signs such as thirst, headache, fatigue, and dizziness.
Alcohol and caffeine can cause dehydration because they are diuretics. This substance increases urine production by blocking hormones from being used to reabsorb water in the kidneys. This increase in the urine is directly correlated with dehydration of the body.
Therefore, to limit dehydration, swimmers should drink at least 470 ml of water 2 hours before swimming and regularly rehydrate during training and competition. Rehydration after training or competition is also needed to promote muscle recovery.
In addition to filtered water, athletes may need to supplement with some energy drinks or electrolyte replenishment water to replace the salt content of the body lost from sweating. It is important to keep their electrolytes in balance. Electrolyte balance is the key to getting the best results in training and performance.
Dehydration can cause so much trouble for swimmers, you can read this article for more details: Why You Should Always Stay Hydrated During Swimming?
“The most common misconception is the thought ‘I don’t sweat when I swim’. And this is completely wrong, ”said Dr. G. John Mullen, former swimmer, physiotherapist at COR company (Santa Clara, California, USA). Therefore, to make sure you are not dehydrated, drink water every 2 hours, don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink. By the time you feel thirsty, your body is already too dehydrated.