How Dehydration Affects The Endurance Athlete

The impacts of dehydration to an athlete’s body can be various and severe. According to Nina Anderson, author of multiple books on sports nutrition, including “Fueling For Peak Performance”, “as the heart rate increases, oxygen and nutrient delivery to the muscles can drop 10% even with mild exercise.”

Dehydration effects

Water losses equal to 2% of body weight and will impact heat regulation. At 3% loss in body water levels there is a decrease in muscle cell contraction times. When fluid losses equal 4% of body weight there is a 5-10% drop in overall performance, which can last up to four hours. Most athletes also need to be aware that along with fluids, electrolytes and essential minerals are depleted as well. Mineral replacement is essential to helping restore proper blood volume and blood sugar levels, and is necessary for enzymatic reactions that promote proper blood volume. Without them the quality of performance during long-term or explosive short-term exercise declines.

Dehydration causes a loss of electrolytes along with the loss of water. Because water constitutes more than 75 percent of our body weight, losing 10% of body fluids can make us seriously ill. Besides not getting enough water, we are also considered dehydrated when losing minerals.

The balance of electrolytes is constantly shifting due to fluctuating fluid levels in the body.

Because minerals are water-soluble, they are easily forced out of the body by internal and external stresses including exercise. This can lead to dehydration, low blood pressure, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), sunken eyes, confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment, and poor skin elasticity.

Electrolytes are essential minerals that are necessary for nerve function, muscle contraction, body-fluid balance, and helps maintain other critical processes such as heart rhythm. They are particles that can carry an electrical charge and are present in blood, plasma, urine, and other fluids. They function to keep neural synaptic processes functioning in the brain and nerve transmissions operating throughout the body. During exercise, the body uses oxygen to turn nutrients into energy through process of bio-oxidation. Electrolytes help the oxygen create a chemical reaction that allows the body to burn the nutrients as fuel.

According to Nina, “It is important that all minerals in the body must work together in the proper amounts. These should include the trace-minerals such as copper, zinc, chromium, selenium, and iodine, in addition to the sodium, potassium and magnesium”. To maintain the balance of minerals, including trace minerals, during periods of exercise, an athlete can add minerals through a properly balanced ionic trace-mineral supplement. This will assure that their bodily functions operate properly, that their antioxidant enzymes are strong to fight infections, and that their immune systems stay strong. 


“Fueling for Peak Performance” by Nina Anderson, S.P.N. Copyright 2014 by Nina Anderson Safe Goods Publishing 561 Shunpike Rd. Sheffield, MA 01257.  NIna Anderson is a certificated  Specialist in Performance Nutrition by the International Sports Science Association. She has written 18 books on natural health and nutrition and has been involved in aviation safety and health for over 20 years. You can read more of Nina's publications at or visit her at

If you would like to find out more about trace minerals and our concentrated electrolyte spray, visit our website at Or to request a copy of the book, "Fueling For Peak Performance", write us at

EnduroPacks, Inc. offers a vitamin and mineral replacement system to endurance athletes, which helps aid in recovery and performance. EnduroPacks has identified the most essential vitamins and minerals for athletes in the most efficient forms. Each pack contains a 30-day supply of four essential products: a Liquid Multivitamin, Concentrated Electrolyte Spray, Essential Amino Recovery Patch, and the L-Glutamine Recovery Complex. EnduroPacks products are GLUTEN-FREE, manufactured in the USA, contain no GMOs, and are 100% organic and vegetarian.  EnduroPacks is a member of the NPA. To find out more, visit their website at