Hi rmgilby. Here's some information on dehydration and fatigue — I definitely notice the connection between hydration and energy.
By Ningthoujan Sandhyarani:
Increased weakness or fatigue is one of the typical signs of dehydration in children and adults. But what is the connection between dehydration and fatigue? How does dehydration causes body fatigue?
Body Water: At a Glance
The necessity of water for normal body functioning is understandable from the fact that up to 60% of the body weight is made up of water. This percentage composition is slightly lower for female adults (about 55%) and higher for infants (up to 75%). Generally, body water is lost through respiration, sweating, urination, stool passing and many other activities. And to compensate for this, we need to drink ample amounts of water and fluids. In a healthy person, the amount of lost water and intake of water are balanced properly.
Fatigue: A Sign of Dehydration
So, what will happen if the body's water content drops down significantly? Taking into consideration that each and every cell of the body requires water, insufficiency of body water disturbs various processes. First of all, the blood concentration becomes thicker due to lack of sufficient fluid. The result is reduction in the volume of blood plasma, which is turn, puts pressure on the heart for supplying oxygen and nutrients to the other body parts. Since excess energy is utilized for blood circulation, the afflicted individual experiences weakness and fatigue symptoms.
Secondly, decline in the body water level is usually accompanied with the loss of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chloride), a condition called isotonic dehydration. These chemical ions are present in a dissolved state in the bloodstream, and they play a crucial role in regulating fluid levels, muscle contraction and nerve reactions. Imbalance of these electrolytes brings about fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness, irregular heartbeats and other symptoms. Thus, dehydration, fatigue and muscle weakness occur simultaneously.
When there is lack of adequate water in the body, the muscle tissues use up maximum oxygen and nutrients to continue their functions. Eventually, blood circulation to the skin is impaired, so is the mechanism of heat diffusion. This elevation in internal heat causes fatigue, lightheadedness and muscle cramps. In addition, the enzymatic activities responsible for generating energy are no longer working normally, resulting in general weakness. Another connecting link between dehydration and fatigue is, lack of water in the brain, which responds with quick perception of tiredness.
Dehydration not only disturbs the circulatory system, electrolyte balance and thermoregulation, but it also negatively affects several other physiological and metabolic processes. The point is, every cell has to put more effort to function properly. As a consequence, energy requirement is more, which is manifested as tiredness, fatigue and symptoms alike. Treating dehydration is the main goal for overcoming fatigue, which is caused due to low water content in the body.
How to Deal with Dehydration and Fatigue
General fatigue is just an indication that the body is tired because of daily activities. Nevertheless, if it is triggered due to dehydration, then replenishing the lost water and electrolytes is the only practical solution to restore normal bodily processes. Drink ample amounts of water and healthy fluids to maintain healthy body water levels. For some dehydrated patients, especially children and elderly people, electrolyte replacement through oral therapy is necessary to treat dehydration effectually.
To conclude with, dehydration and fatigue are interconnected in body physiology. Patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome often report dehydration, muscle cramps and dizziness.