For many people swimming is an unquestionable sport, it is a combination of fun and exercise. People swim for various reasons, but ultimately it is love of water. Similar to other sport, swimming keeps your body fit and active for lifetime. It strengthens lungs and heart, besides providing pleasure of frolicking with friends in water.
Having said about various health benefits of swimming, this strenuous sport can dehydrate your body just as with any other sports especially swimming for a long time. Therefore it is important to keep your body well hydrated to maintain endurance and muscle strength while swimming.
Symptoms Of Dehydration In Swimmers
Swimming is one form of exercise and just like any other exercise; we lose moisture from the body. Being in water most people are unaware that they even sweat. Excessive sweating can result in dehydration, meaning loss of water from the body, especially when you do vigorous swimming for long duration.
These symptoms may be manifested as flushing, reduced performance, tiredness, dryness of mouth and eyes, dizziness, mental confusion, cramps in muscles, excessive thirst, etc. In indoor pools, the water is slightly warm with more humidity and this may not allow proper exchange of body heat. Both these factors can contribute to dehydration. Swimming in ocean or in outdoor pools, the dry inhaled air is more responsible for dehydration than humid surrounding.
Prevention & Treatment Of Dehydration While Swimming
Dehydration begins when the loss of fluid from the body exceeds the intake. Depending on the deficit, there may be one or more symptoms of dehydration. The first thing to do to prevent dehydration is drinking enough amount of water. Dehydration can be easily reversed if it is addressed in its preliminary stage. This can be done by drinking one glass of water every twenty or thirty minutes of break.
It is unhealthy practice to drink water from the pool, or lake while swimming as this may contain chemicals and bacteria which can further harm the body. Swimmers should therefore drink bottled water between their training sessions. If you are performing high intensity swimming exercises, you should also drink sports drinks. It is useful to replenish the lost salts caused due to heavy sweating. To prevent dehydration drink two glasses of water before you begin to swim. If you are staying in water for a prolonged period of one or two hours, consume fluids and drinks between the laps.
Swimming in summer months especially in outdoor pools and oceans, drinking water before and during the breaks will help to prevent dehydration. Avoid certain fluids while swimming such as tea and coffee as these beverages can result in excessive urination and further aggravate dehydration. Certain foods contain plenty of water content. These foods and fruits are cucumber, watermelon, tomatoes, grapefruit, carrots, spinach, radish, broccoli etc. Cucumber juice, watermelon juice, tomato juice etc is a great choice which you can drink between the laps or before you begin swimming sessions. Eating these foods one or two hours before swimming will also help to sustain hydration.