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Dehydration In Swimmers

Dehydration In Swimmers
A swimmer is standing in the pool. Photo Credit Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images

Those who perform physical exercise lose a lot of moisture from their body through sweating. Though it may seem impossible, swimmers experience dehydration too. Even as their bodies are completely immersed in water, they sweat if they are training vigorously. Unfortunately, since sweat is not noticeable in the water, many swimmers do not realize they are dehydrated. Swimmers who do not drink fluids during lengthy training sessions may experience severe dehydration.


Like any other athlete, swimmers sweat profusely, especially when they are training vigorously. Indoor swimming pools and the ambient air are usually heated. Combined with the humidity in the pool area, the warm water prevents regulation of body heat. In outdoor pools, though the humidity is lower, the inhaled air is dry and serves to cause dehydration.

Warning Signs

Since it is difficult to notice sweating during swimming, swimmers should observe dehydration symptoms and rehydrate as soon as possible. Increasing thirst is an indication of dehydration. Some of the other early symptoms are flushed skin, unexplained sudden fatigue, palpitations and increased breathing rate, increased body temperature, increased effort of exercise and decreased stamina. The signs of severe dehydration include muscle weakness, labored breathing and dizziness.


Dehydration, if addressed at the initial stages, can be quickly reversed. Fluid replacement is the best way to treat dehydration. Swimmers should drink water between laps and after they have finished with their training. If they are performing high-intensity training, they should consume energy drinks instead of water to replace salts lost due to excessive sweating. According to the American Dietetic Association, they should drink at least two glasses of water before beginning a swimming session. If they are planning to swim for more than 60 minutes, they should keep hydrated throughout the day and consume sports drinks before and during the training.


For optimum hydration through the course of your swimming routine, perform a hydration check before and after the exercise. Dietician Alison Green suggests weighing yourself before starting a swimming session and after completing it. A weight loss of two pounds is equivalent to loss of 32 ounces of water. After your swim, figure out the amount of water you have lost and need to replace. Prevention is the best approach to dehydration, and you can keep rehydrating yourself by drinking lots of fluids.

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