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Know the colour of pee to know your hydration

Here comes the sun dodododo (never could sing!).

The UK temperatures have been exceptionally warm over the last few months and it can catch many of us off guard, from lack of suncream to dehydration and sunstroke. As active athletes we are constantly told to keep hydrated but how do you measure hydration? How much water is enough water, could I be drinking too much water? Have you ever thought about the colour of your pee and what it could mean? Many of us are familiar with the smell of our pee after eating sugar puffs or the colour after eating beetroot!

The colour of pee can tell us all sorts of things about our bodies. One of the most useful indicators is the level of hydration in the body. Ever noticed that your first wee of the day is usually darker than during the day? This is due to not drinking for several hours whilst we are asleep – so quite normal. During the day our pee should range from pale straw colour to dark yellow, see the colour indicators in the pee colour chart to check your pee and hydration level. Pee Colour Chart

Remember that dehydration can lead to all sorts of problems for example problems with your calves can be caused by dehydration.

The physiological reasons for performance losses due to dehydration are:

• Reduction in blood volume

• Decreased skin blood flow

• Decreased sweat rate

• Decreased heat dissipation

• Increased core temperature

• Increased rate of muscle glycogen use

• Decreased digestive function

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than you take in.

When the normal water content of your body is reduced, it upsets the balance of minerals (salts and sugar) in your body, which affects the way it functions.

Water makes up over two-thirds of the healthy human body. It lubricates the joints and eyes, aids digestion, flushes out waste and toxins, and keeps the skin healthy.

Some of the early warning signs of dehydration include:

• Feeling thirsty and lightheaded

• a dry mouth

• tiredness

• having darl coloured, strong-smelling urine

• passing urine less often than usual

What causes dehydration?

Dehydration is usually caused by not drinking enough fluid to replace what we lose. The climate, the amount of physical exercise you are doing (particularly in hot weather) and your diet can contribute to dehydration.

• Athletes are at risk from dehydration – they can lose a large amount of body fluid through sweat when exercising for long periods.

Maintain Hydration by drinking fluids regularly.

Drink plenty of fluids such as water or diluted juice/squash. These are much more effective than large amounts of tea, coffee or fizzy drinks, which contain caffeine.

1st August 2019

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