A portion of Karen Goeller’s article What’s Behind the Ability to Focus? that defines levels of dehydration is provided below. The remainder of Karen’s article is published on GymnasticsStuff.com. We encourage to you continue reading it because of the detail that she provides on four key factors that impact athletic performance. One, of course, is dehydration, the others are eating habits, sleep quality and medications. Karen Goeller, CSCS, Gymnastics and Fitness Author, Strength Coach and Uneven Bars Coach, Will-Moor Gymnastics, New Jersey.
What’s Behind the Ability to Focus?
Focus is the key to success. But there is more to it than just visualizing and thinking about the skill about to be performed. What’s behind the ability to focus? Believe it or not, what an athlete does outside the gym is just as important as what they do inside the gym. An athlete’s hydration level, eating habits, sleep quality and medications greatly affect their training as well as their performance at competitions.
Dehydration… Did you know that by the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated? Athletes may suffer a loss of performance of up to 30% when dehydrated. As little as a 2% loss in fluid will negatively impact our athlete’s body, mind, training and performance. Mild dehydration can cause confusion, irritability, constipation, drowsiness, fever and thirst. Mild to moderate dehydration symptoms include dry, sticky mouth, muscle weakness, stiff joints, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, cramping decreased urine, cool extremities, slow capillary refill and sunken eyes. With moderate dehydration your gymnast may experience flushing, low endurance, rapid heart rates, elevated heart rates, elevated body temperatures and rapid onset of fatigue. Severe dehydration is the loss of 10-15% of body fluids and is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical care. The signs and symptoms of severe dehydration include extreme thirst, irritability and confusion, very dry mouth, dry skin and mucous membranes, lack of sweating, little or no urination, any urine that is produced will be dark yellow, sunken eyes, shriveled and dry skin, rapid heartbeat, fever, coma and even death.
Please continue with Karen’s article. You can pick up where we left off at “Dehydration of any kind will not correct itself…” – the third paragraph.