Written by: Club Bunker



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Are you aware that dehydration could be impairing your athletic performance? It is crucial to maintain proper hydration levels during exercise to optimize performance and prevent the negative effects of dehydration on athletic performance.

Adverse effects of Dehydration

It's not just about feeling thirsty, it's about the impact it has on your body and mind during physical activity. Dehydration can take a toll on your endurance, strength, and cognitive function, putting a damper on your performance and hindering your progress.

When your body is dehydrated, it's like fighting a battle with a hidden enemy. It can lead to a decrease in blood volume, skin blood flow, sweat rate, and an increase in core temperature and muscle glycogen use. Even a small loss of 2% of body weight from sweat can drag down your physical and mental performance, while losses of 5% or more can slash your work capacity by up to a whopping 30%. If you're already dealing with hot and humid conditions, dehydration can hit you even harder, further worsening the situation.

Dehydration can also mess with your cognitive function, causing slower reaction times, increased fatigue, and poor concentration. It can throw off your plasma volume, increase blood viscosity, reduce cardiac output whilst accelerating muscle fatigue and breakdown. All of which can seriously impact your performance during high-intensity activities and hinder muscle growth.

Dehydration has adverse effects on Nutrient transportation, assimilation, gut health, and even joint health are all closely linked to proper hydration. When dehydrated, your gut struggles to process food effectively, leading to reduced nutrient absorption. This hinders your ability to recover, grow, and perform optimally. Prioritizing hydration is vital for supporting overall well-being and maximizing your body's potential.

How does dehydration affect your exercise performance?

During prolonged sporting events, fatigue can be caused not only by fuel depletion but also by dehydration. Even a small dehydration of just 2% of body weight can impair performance, and a loss exceeding 5% can decrease work capacity by about 30%.

High-intensity exercise, like sprinting, can also be affected by dehydration. Even a slight dehydration of 2.5% of body weight can reduce the ability to perform high-intensity exercise by up to 45%.

Dehydration can decrease maximal aerobic power (VO2max) by about 5% in cool conditions, and even more in hot conditions. It impairs endurance capacity during exercise, especially in hot environments.

Running performance is also affected by dehydration. A loss of 2% of body weight due to dehydration can impair running performance, with longer distances being more impacted.

In hot, dry conditions, dehydration can significantly decrease the capacity to perform exercise. The higher the level of dehydration, the less time an individual can sustain exercise.

Dehydration affects thermoregulation, leading to faster rises in core temperature during exercise. It limits cardiac output and blood delivery to muscles, impairing performance.

Staying properly hydrated is crucial for optimal exercise performance. Dehydration can cause fatigue, reduce endurance, and impact overall performance.


Hydration supplements are convenient, compact, and often lower in calories and sugars compared to traditional sports drinks, making them suitable for those mindful of their intake or suffering dehydration. 

Club Bunkers Hydration Favourites

Electrolytes like sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium are essential minerals lost through activities like sweating, urinating, or digestive issues. They play vital roles in muscle and nerve function, pH balance, and fluid regulation.

While sports beverages have long been popular for electrolyte replenishment, a newer category called "hydration supplements" has emerged. These supplements, available as tablets or powders mixed with water, offer electrolyte replacement and faster rehydration. They appeal to athletes, travelers, and individuals struggling to consume enough water or those battling dehydration.

Drinking Water Doesn't Mean You Are Hydrating Properly

Proper hydration is essential for unlocking your athletic potential. Water is the ideal choice for replenishing lost fluids, regulating body temperature, and supporting muscle function. According to the Institute of Medicine, adults should aim for around 3-4 liters of water per day.

To maximize performance, ensure you hydrate before, during, and after your workouts. Staying ahead of dehydration is crucial for unleashing your best performance and positively impacting various aspects of bodybuilding, including health, body composition, sleep, recovery, mental focus, and joint health.

Maintaining a constant state of hydration throughout the day, from waking up to bedtime, is critical. Most likely, you're not consuming enough water on a daily basis—aim for approximately half an ounce to an ounce per pound of body weight, translating to 100-200 ounces for a 200-pound individual. This consistent hydration practice yields numerous benefits.

The amount of water you need to drink depends on factors such as your body size, environmental conditions, and exercise intensity. Larger individuals tend to sweat more than smaller individuals, and men typically sweat more than women. Hot and humid environments can increase sweating, as can higher exercise intensities.

Listening to your body is key in determining when to drink. If you feel thirsty, it's a sign that your body requires more fluids. As a general guideline, try to consume small amounts of water at regular intervals during exercise, if feasible.

"The Institute of Medicine recommends around 4-3 liters of water per day for adults"

hydration supp

Symptoms of Dehydration

Thirst is not always a reliable indicator of dehydration. In fact, feeling thirsty usually means you're already dehydrated.

Here are some common signs of dehydration:

  • Chills

  • Clammy skin

  • Elevated heart rate

  • Nausea

  • Headache

  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry mouth

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to hydrate yourself promptly. Failure to replenish your body fluids adequately can lead to various complications, including:

  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat stroke
  • Muscle cramping and fatigue
  • Breakdown of skeletal muscle

Checking the color of your urine is a simple test to determine hydration status. Pale and clear urine indicates good hydration, while darker-colored urine suggests that your body needs more fluids.