Dehydration and Risk of Orthopedic Injuries

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Dehydration and Risk of Orthopedic Injuries

orthopedic injury risks

A majority of the human body is made up of water, with in fact 50-60 percent of an average person’s body weight being of water. Staying hydrated is vital for optimal health, especially if you are a sportsperson. In this era of global warming, dehydration poses a major problem. Along with the increasing temperature every year, comes the elevated risk of dehydration. This risk becomes an even greater concern, for people who participate in sports and outdoor activities.

There are a number of risks associated with dehydration. Not only it impacts your heart, endocrine system, digestion and nervous system, dehydration also contributes to orthopedic injuries. Most athletes can lose up to 3 quarts of fluid per hour during exercise. Making it more difficult, staying hydrated can be difficult at times.

Some risks of Orthopedic Injuries:

As our body loses too much water during exercise, chances are that heat cramps can develop in your body. These cramps are not only uncomfortable but can impact your form and endurance. Not being able to perform well due to poor form is a major cause of many orthopaedic injuries such as muscle strains and tears, or even fractures.

A sudden increase in your core body temperature, caused by heat exhaustion, can result in dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and even a loss in consciousness. These types of symptoms tend to make it very difficult for your body to function properly, increasing the likelihood of injury.

So, how can you decrease the chances of dehydration? Well, anyone willing to plan ahead and maintain awareness of their body throughout the day can easily achieve it. You can stay hydrated and continue enjoying your favourite sports, despite the fluctuating temperatures.

Here are some tips to stay hydrated and away from dehydration and injury risks:

  • Drink plenty of water, before you begin exercising. Up to 2 hours before starting your activity, you should ideally consume a litre of water.
  • During your workout or outdoor activity, try to consume as much water as you can.
  • Drink water after you have stopped exercising. It is very important to drink water even after your exercising or activity is finished. Drink a bottle of water afterwards, to avoid dehydration.
  • Be consistent with hydration throughout the day. Even after your activity is completed it is still important to keep up the water intake as your body continues to lose fluids even when at rest.
  • Consumption of sports drinks and coconut water can provide an added benefit of replenishing electrolytes lost through sweat, but the added sugar in these drinks tend to be negative for the body. Plain water is the best option.
  • The most important, always listen to your body. Whenever you experience symptoms of dehydration like fatigue, dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting or muscle cramps, stop exercising immediately.

We hope these tips are useful for our readers, especially athletes and sportsperson, to help in keeping their body hydrated and succeed in their field, without any injuries.

Dr. Santosh Shetty
Dr. Santosh Shetty
Specialist in Joint Replacement and Trauma Surgery with more than 15 years of experience.
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