Am I Dehydrated?

Q. After light exercise my muscles feel excessively fatigued. My friend suggested that I might not be drinking enough water, could this be the cause?

A. In general, dehydration does reduce endurance and exercise performance of active muscle groups and could be the cause of excessive fatigue. More commonly, your fatigue would be caused from overloading your muscles when exercising with a combination of intensity, duration and frequency. By gradually increasing intensity, duration and difficulty of physical activity you can improve muscular strength and endurance, thereby decreasing your muscular fatigue.

While exercising, staying hydrated is tantamount. Below are hydration recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine that may be helpful as you continue to exercise.

• Drink 16 oz. of water two hours prior to exercise.

• Drink eight oz. of water 15-30 minutes prior to exercise.

• Drink eight oz. of water every 15-30 minutes during exercise.

• Drink 24 oz. of water for every pound of body weight lost.

• Follow the volume and color of your urine.

If your fatigue continues or begins affecting your normal day-to-day activities, then you should follow-up with your primary care physician to check for any metabolic or neurologic causes of your fatigue.

Jason Robertson, M.D.

Center for Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics

2415 McCallie Avenue

Chattanooga, TN 37404

(423) 624-2696