Dehydration can be highly dangerous, whether it results from exertion, environmental factors or health status. But how do you tell whether you are dehydrated or not?
The unique HydraTrend Test Strips produce an accurate hydration reading in less than 60 seconds. They are convenient and easy to use, and require only a small urine sample. Each kit includes 50 test strips, a sample collection cup, complete instructions, a color chart for reading results, quality controls, and a card for recording test results for over time.
HydraTrendâ¢ has been around for a several years, but sometimes it takes time to gain credibility - especially among athletes who can often be skeptical and gullible at the same time. HydraTrendâs unique, easy-to-use urine test strips have now stood the test of time and are an accepted and reliable method of determining hydration status.
Hydration has always been a concern to me after an amateur wrestling career of almost ten years where dehydration was the accepted means of making a weight. It still goes on today in wrestling more than 40 years later, although there have been some efforts to educate athletes on safer ways to lose weight, and some states require âoffâ season weigh-ins to avoid extreme weight loss measures during the competitive season. But it still goes on, and everybody knows it.
Dehydration is also a major factor in the bodybuilding community as competitors reduce their fluid intake prior to a contest to enhance their muscular definition. Some bodybuilders have been known to suffer heart attacks prior to competition from depleting their electrolytes.
Runners, cyclists, tri-athletes, and other endurance athletes routinely suffer from dehydration at one time or another albeit not intentionally as in wrestling and bodybuilding. They usually try to self-monitor their hydration levels without any scientific methodology - often without success.
Many athletes falsely believe that the color of their urine is a reliable indicator of hydration status based on the assumption that a âclearâ color signifies that they are hydrated. However, vitamins, nutritional supplements, medications, activity levels, and even sleep deprivation can âcolorâ the urine and produce false results leading athletes to believe that they are dehydrated even when they are not and possibly overhydrate.
Overhydration â drinking more water than the body needs â can result in low sodium levels which can be dangerous. Runners may recall the death of a female runner in the 2002 Boston Marathon due to overhydration. In other words, it can be a fine line between proper hydration and dehydration that requires more than just guesswork to determine the right hydration status.
Hydration is important to everyone, of course â not just athletes. It can improve digestion, remove waste from the body, regulate body temperature, help prevent kidney stones, cushion the joints, improve the condition of the skin, help control weight, help to prevent urinary tract infections, and more.
UriDynamics (http://www.uridynamics.com/), the manufacturer of HydraTrend, also produces a separate product, StoneGuard IIâ¢ for self-monitoring of urine pH and specific gravity for monitoring conditions that may form kidney stones.
Jim Evans is a 41-year veteran of the health and fitness industry and internationally recognized fitness consultant.