Water loss

Water loss occurs due to the resulting heat accumulation during prolonged physical exertion. The body sweats and loses electrolytes as well as water. Even a water loss of 2% to 4% of body weight impairs endurance performance (Engels, 2000).

The following symptoms can be observed in the event of water loss (after Zintl, 1997):

At 2 to 5%:

  • Feeling thirsty
  • High pulse
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Feeling of weakness
  • Aggressiveness

From 6%:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Cramps
  • Blurred vision
  • Coordination disorders
  • failure to produce saliva
  • Circulatory failure
  • mental disorders

Water loss and dehydration should be avoided at all costs due to the symptoms described. Especially during training and competition in warm weather and increased sweat loss, a sufficient increase of drinks is therefore important. Especially hypotonic and isotonic drinks are recommended to ensure fluid intake and the provision of sufficient electrolytes.

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