When athletes don’t replenish lost fluids they become dehydrated. Dehydration is as minimal as 2% body weight loss (BWL) and can hinder performance and thermo-regulatory function. Here are a few key points concerning dehydration:
Recognition: Dry mouth, thirst, irritability, headache, weakness, dizziness, cramps, chills, vomiting, nausea, fatigue, decreased performance.
Treatment: Move to a cool environment and re-hydrate. Re-hydrate with a sports drink including carbohydrates, electrolytes, and sodium. Make sure you have convenient access to fluids. If you’re nauseated or vomiting, seek medical attention to replace fluids via an intravenous line.
Return to play considerations: If dehydration is minor and the student-athlete is symptom free, continued participation is acceptable.
J.D. Boudreaux, PT, SCS, LAT, ATC