As the term suggests, ‘chronic dehydration’, is the ongoing problem of not restoring the body to an adequate state of hydration. However the symptoms can be varied, with some difficult to relate to the issue of hydration.
There is no real ‘pang’ of thirst with chronic dehydration that comes with acute dehydration experienced in warm temperatures or when exercising vigorously, however chronic dehydration leads to some symptoms that can be misdiagnosed and can lead to deeper health concerns. For athletes, there is potential for chronic dehydration to have a negative impact on physical and mental performance, and with the margins between winning and losing so small, it is well worth focusing on this area.
The graph on the right shows the positive impact of hydrating with eleia pure water on chronically dehydrated players during a six week period at a Premier League team. With 9 players from the squad of 24 chronically dehydrated at the start of pre-season, eleia pure helped reduce that to zero. Eleia Pure is specially filtered to remove solutes and impurities so contains a higher fraction of ‘free water molecules’ for efficient passage across membranes and many players find it easier to swallow a greater amount prior to training or matches than ordinary water. The hydration levels were tested using an Osmocheck Monitor during pre-season training.
Below are some of the major problems that have been linked to chronic dehydration, where in many cases an improved focus on hydration will be an effective way of relieving any symptoms.
Dehydration causes the activity of enzymes in the body to slow considerably, reducing the ability to convert available resources into energy and thus the ability to compete at the desired levels, inducing fatigue and lethargy.
Joints and Movement
Joints throughout the body have cartilage padding, which provides lubrication to the joints. Water is the main composition of these joints, so dehydration can lead to a weakened cartilage. Feelings of stiffness, pain and general immobility are signs that dehydration may be affecting your joints.
Health and Kidneys
The kidneys help remove toxins, impurities and excess minerals from the blood. Chronic dehydration can expose the kidneys to infection and put unnecessary stress on these organs, leading to a detrimental state for the body as a whole. Each kidney contains around a million nephrons, each one acting as a filtration unit, so the kidneys must be well hydrated to perform their duties successfully.
When the body is fully hydrated, the blood is around 90% water. Dehydration leads to a thickening of the blood, which in turn creates higher levels of friction within the vessels and veins and higher flow resistance. As a consequence of these changes, it is possible that blood pressure can rise due to dehydration.
These are just several of the leading issues of chronic dehydration we have looked at in a bit more depth. Other symptoms include headaches, skin disorders, allergies and digestive problems.