Can A Hot Tub Make You Dehydrated? (Symptoms, Causes, Treatment)
Who doesn’t like a nice hot tub soak after a long day? It relieves your stress and relaxes your body; just the perfect end to a day! But, with the heat and sweat related to hot tubs, one might wonder, can a hot tub make you dehydrated?
Yes, a hot tub can most certainly make you dehydrated. Typically, the water in a hot tub is kept at 100 degrees which can increase up to 104 degrees according to your preference. The heat causes your body to sweat. This will make you lose more water than you can retain.
For your safety, it is important to know the symptoms of dehydration so you can notice it just before your body starts to get dehydrated. Keep reading the full article to learn more about the signs of dehydration, to what extent hot tubs can dehydrate you, and what you can do to avoid it.
How Do You Get Dehydrated in The Hot Tub?
The water in a hot tub is set at a few degrees higher than that of your body temperature. This is the reason we sweat while in a hot tub so that our body temperatures adhere to homeostasis. Sweating makes you expel a lot of water, in turn making you dehydrated.
While you are in a hot tub it is quite easy to forget about drinking water as your body is relaxed and not doing any kind of work. It is also harder to notice that you are sweating while submerged in water. Low fluid level retention coupled with losses will dehydrate you faster.
It opens your blood circulation causing your body to heat up. As this happens, your body tries to notch down to the maintenance level temperature to cool you down. Your body possesses an amazing corrective mechanism following which it tries to cool you down by making you perspire.
Based on elementary science evaporation causes cooling and while the sweat of your skin evaporates it causes body heat to taper down. The more your body heats up, the more you sweat which makes you dehydrate severely.
How Much Can Hot Tubs Dehydrate You?
There are limits to the extent your body will dehydrate itself to maintain homeostasis but it is important to realize that you are being stripped off of the essential minerals, salt, and fluid levels for standard bodily functions before you get severely depleted.
The amount of sweat that perspires from your body depends on the length of time you stay in the hot tub. If you stay for an hour or longer, you will lose between 200 milligrams to 700 milligrams of sweat. If you take an average of 500 milligrams, you lose about half a liter of water from your body.
That is a big amount of fluid loss and will make you very dehydrated to the point you start feeling dizzy if you are not drinking enough water and maintaining your fluid levels.
Dizziness occurs when your blood pressure falls due to an expansion of the blood vessels in your body.
Signs Of Dehydration You Should Look Out For
To be safe while enjoying your bath in a hot tub, it is necessary to know about the symptoms of dehydration so you can find out if you or your guests are feeling dehydrated.
This is one of the most typical signs of dehydration. If you are feeling thirsty while in the hot tub, the best thing would be to get a bottle of water.
You might not be able to recognize this feeling of thirst. This is dangerous as it might be too late when you do notice. You can even faint as a result of severe dehydration.
Fatigue or irritation
Soaking in a hot tub helps you relax and puts you in a good mood, reducing all your stress levels.
If you still feel tired or irritated while in your hot tub, this could be a sign that you are overheating and dehydrated.
A painful symptom of severe dehydration is muscle cramps or tightness in your muscles.
This occurs due to the lack of fluids and salts available for the muscles in your body. Drinking water mixed with electrolytes will help prevent this from happening. It helps you to restore salts faster into your body.
Blurry vision and headache
Your body requires water to function properly. Dehydration can cause distorted vision and headache, mixed with the feeling of nausea.
Your headache can turn into a serious migraine if your body is still hot from the hot tub soak and you do not rehydrate yourself immediately.
The cooling system in your body depends on sweat. If you are heated up and still not sweating then your body is seriously dehydrated.
There are no fluids left in your body to sweat. This can be very alarming as your body will not be able to cool off causing you to overheat.
How Can You Avoid Dehydration In The Hot Tub?
Some people are more at risk of dehydration than others. This is why it is necessary to take proper precautions before getting into a hot tub.
This is the easiest way to avoid dehydration. Drink water before getting into the hot tub. This will make sure there are sufficient fluids in your body.
It is also important to drink water while in the hot tub to maintain the fluid levels and make sure your body does not dry up. Using a water bottle that measures quantity is very useful. This way you can easily record your fluid intake levels.
Keeping a water bottle by your side will also act as a reminder for you to drink water from time to time. Most hot tubs have a floating drink holder for your ease.
Hot tub in the shade
Keeping your hot tub in a cool place where there is enough shade to protect you from the sunlight is a good idea. It will also keep you cooler for longer!
Staying under the sun for too long or in humid weather is more likely to dehydrate you. The water in the hot tub is already at a high temperature. Soaking out in the open, especially in warm weather, increases your chances of dehydrating more.
If your hot tub is outside, you can use a sunshade to block you from the direct heat of the sun. If you are looking for something more durable, considering a gazebo would be a wise option.
Soaking too long
Taking 20 to 30 minutes in the hot tub is the ideal time for a perfectly relaxing experience. Staying too long in the heat can make you feel dizzy or give you a feeling of light-headedness. This is a sign that your body is starting to dehydrate and you can start to feel unwell.
You should get out of the water as soon as possible to rehydrate. Once your body has cooled down, you can go back for another round. If you want to stay longer without having to take rounds, you can reduce the temperature to 98 degrees.
Try to set a timer before getting into the tub. You can easily lose track of time when you are relaxing in a hot tub and so, a timer will help you avoid this.
Limit alcohol intake
Alcohol adds to dehydration and it stimulates more when you are in a hot tub. Try to avoid long hot tub sessions while you are drinking.
If you want to drink your beverage, make sure to alternate it with water so you can stay hydrated while enjoying your drink. It is best not to get into the hot tub in a state of intoxication to prevent any kind of accidents as well.
If you have been performing intense workout routines, it is best not to get into the hot tub right after. This is because your body is already hot from the workout and will overheat excessively.
You can rest while your body comes back down to the normal temperature. Once you have cooled down, you can go back to the tub to relax!
Other Factors You Should Consider Before Getting into A Hot Tub
Doctors recommend some people to not use the hot tub at all or limit their time to as minimum as possible. For example, pregnant women are encouraged not to sit in the hot tub for longer than 10 minutes, or even better, avoid it completely. The rising temperature of the water can be harmful to your baby.
Children have a high metabolic rate which allows them to process any fluid faster than adults. This will make them dehydrated quicker. They could use it at a low temperature for a longer period of time. At 104 degrees, they should only use the hot tub for a maximum of 5 minutes.
People with medical conditions such as low or high blood pressure, asthma, or heart conditions are at higher risk of getting dehydrated. If you have any such conditions, it is best to consult a doctor before getting into a hot tub. They will prescribe you for how long to use the hot tub and at what temperature.
So, can a hot tub make you dehydrated? Yes, it can. As you can see, even though hot tubs are a relaxing experience, it involves certain risks. If you take proper precautions against all the factors mentioned above, you can easily prevent yourself from getting dehydrated in your hot tub. Lastly, have fun dipping, and do not forget to stay hydrated!