Can dehydration contribute to muscle pain?
The heat is on and one of the biggest challenges living in Arizona is staying hydrated during the summer heat. Water is the liquid of life, 65% of our body is made up of it. When the temperature gets above 100, our body’s can lose up to 1.5 quarts of water per hour! This is almost 2 pounds of body weight. A person is considered dehydrated when they lose 5% of their body weight in water. For the average person this can happen in about 2 hours. So in order to stay properly hydrated you would need to drink 48 ounces of water per hour just to stay balanced.
So how does dehydration affect muscle pain. First of all, your muscles are 75% water and can be significantly effected by water loss. When muscles are dehydrated they do not function as well and cramping and muscle spasms can occur. This can also lead to a strain/sprain injury. Also your nervous system can be affected by dehydration increasing sensitivity which commonly leads to aches and pain.
At times simply staying hydrated can help you alleviate the muscle pain you are experiencing. So if you plan on working or playing outside in the summer heat, plan on drinking about 48 ounces of water per hour.