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Doug Casa explains what happens to your body as your skin, muscles and heart compete for fluid.


One of the reasons why we really encourage hydration during activity, especially during intense activity in the heat, is that your body has a finite fluid reserve, and your skin wants a lot of fluid during activity so you can stay cool and have sweat, your muscle wants a lot of fluid to maintain intense activity, but then, your heart also wants fluid to maintain proper function of your heart.

But, when you get dehydrated, that amount of fluid is decreased, and those three entities that are fighting for that fluid now have less fluid to be able to do the activity that you want to do. So, when you stay hydrated, you're able to keep maximal skin blood flow and stay cool, maximal muscle blood flow and keep performance maintained, and maximal blood flow for your heart so your stroke volume stays up and your heart rate stays down.

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