Last night we were on the dance floor stepping it out with a brisk cha-cha dance, then all of a sudden things started to change. Instantly, I was keenly supersensitive to the colors around me, the music and the laughter. Though I’m used to being twirled around, I had lost my sense of direction and, instantaneously, my energy was completely zapped and I was having a hard time moving.
I asked John to help me get a seat. Since I’ve been spending the past year writing my upcoming book (REBOOT – staying focused, energized, and more productive), I ran through the list of possibilities to my sudden energy deficit. I’d been sleeping well so that wasn’t an issue. I’d just eaten a good meal before heading out to dance, so my blood sugar wasn’t low. And, yes, I’d been active but I wasn’t sore, so I don’t think I overdid it there. Dehydrated? Possibly…
After downing two 16oz bottles of water, I started to feel myself once again. Remember, dehydration can happen anytime of the year. Water is being evaporated from your skin in your heated home, while you’re shoveling snow, and outdoors skiing. Here in Orlando we had had an very comfortable, gotta be outside kind of weekend. So, I’m guessing I didn’t balance my outdoor activities with fluid ingestion.
Do you heed the clues of dehydration? Check out the article below. Oh, and don’t think it’s just overt dehydration that makes us feel bad. Even a slight (1%) dehydration can cause confusion and loss of concentration…that might be affecting your work right now!
Sports nutritionists have been advising athletes to monitor their fluid requirements since a 2-3% reduction in body fluids can decrease their sports performance. Yet, two recently published articles found that even a mild state of dehydration (>1% of body weight…that’s just 3 cups for a 150 pound person) can adversely affect our energy level, mood, and performance. A research study (published in the Journal of Nutrition) with young women found that a mild state of dehydration was associated with degraded mood, increased perception of task difficulty, and headache symptoms. Interestingly, most aspects of cognitive performance was not affected.
Another study with young men (published in the British Journal of Nutrition) found that mild dehydration increased fatigue and tension/anxiety. It also induced adverse changes in vigilance and working memory.
How do you know if you’re dehydrated? When exercising, weigh yourself both before and after exercising (without clothes). For each pound you lose, drink 16oz of water to return your hydration level to pre-exercise levels. At any time of the day, check the color of your urine. It should be clear of slightly pale in color. If it’s darker – you’re dehydrated.
So, don’t forget to drink water and other liquids throughout the day while you’re at your desk – or outside.