Help With Dehydration?

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by thatzackwheeler, Jul 26, 2015.

  1. thatzackwheeler

    thatzackwheeler New Member

    Following my six-year hiatus from the sport, my return has been marred by post-event health complications. My first weekend out, I only drank around 6 16-oz Nalgenes spiked with Mio Sport; I was participating in games from 11:00 until about 3:30. I experienced a dull headache near the end of the day that expanded into a full headache near the base of my skull during the drive home. My second weekend out, I drank over 12 16-oz Nalgenes, about half were spiked with Mio Sport; again, I was running and gunning from 11:00 until 3:00. Nonetheless, I experienced another dull headache that grew and grew during the drive home, this time plus nausea.

    Now I have just finished another long day; I drank a minimum of 20 16-oz Nalgenes with and without Mio Sport but like clockwork my dull headache railed against me near the end of the day. I stopped for a quick dinner at Chipotle but I had a hard time keeping it down during the drive home. I don't recall this happening six years ago but now every outing is marred by the two headaches mixed with nausea. Any idea what's happening to me? Is it dehydration, lack of carbohydrates, or another complication?
  2. Swoledaddy

    Swoledaddy Active Member

    east moline
    I'm no doctor but I get that way some times as well, I feel its usually because your not used to having that much physical activity in your routine, and could be a lack of food intake as well.
    I usually try to eat a little something around the 2 hour mark during play. Just a simple piece of fruit or something like that. I think your water intake is fine at 2.5 gallons (if my math is correct from your last game) but that all depends on how much you sweat too.

    Another thought is over heating/ heat stroke. I've only heard about the effects of these things but it sounds very closely related to what you are experiencing. Try taking breaks between games and take all your gear off when you do. Hopefully this will help you in your future games.

  3. ma_airsoft

    ma_airsoft Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Maybe drop some of your gear, try and be more high speed and low drag lol. That way your carrying less of a load around all day, and your body can breathe and cool down.
  4. moomoose

    moomoose Member

    I agree with the first response. For games longer than about 2 or 2 1/2 hours I'll eat something like a Shot Block or power just to keep myself going.
    If you need to take a sit down for a few minutes in the middle of the game and rest.
  5. Tactical_Skittles

    Tactical_Skittles Active Member

    Six years is a long may need to re-acclimate your body to the level of physical activity you are subjecting yourself to.
  6. Grudge

    Grudge New Member

    Keeping something to snack on throughout the event is always a plus. Try hydrating the night before as well. Stay away from too much refined sugar. The best snacks are nuts and fruit. Granola bars are also good. You need some carbs and natural sugars.
  7. Tyrnek

    Tyrnek Member

    The annoying thing about the human body is that there are a ton of ways for things to go wrong and only a few ways for your body to express it. To really help you, we need some more information.

    - What temperature ranges are you playing in?
    - How much gear are you carrying, both in terms of weight and total skin surface area covered?
    - What sort of playstyle do you have? Run'n'gun or more deliberate?
    - What's your level of fitness (cardiovascular and muscular)?
    - What sort of things do you eat before/during a day of airsoft?
    - Are there any major postural changes that happen to you when you airsoft? Especially in the neck area?
    - Do you or anyone in your family have a history of migraines?
    - Do you tend to hold your breath when airsofting?

    Given the rather limited information I have on hand, I have a slight suspicion that you're suffering from exertion headaches, but it's hard to know for sure.
  8. thatzackwheeler

    thatzackwheeler New Member

    Fact. Being a human is hard.

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  9. Tyrnek

    Tyrnek Member

    Yay, answers! Time for some followups.

    - When you get the headaches, what does your skin look like? Flushed?
    - Do you eat any lunch, or is it just the Clif Bars?
    - Do you normally slouch a lot?
    - Do you feel hot when playing?

    Holding your breath too much would probably do it, but so would heat exhaustion from the heat or just plain exhaustion from too little food plus low cardiovascular fitness (sorry).
  10. thatzackwheeler

    thatzackwheeler New Member

    Yeah, my thought was to jump back into the sport to help with fitness but it's doing the opposite. Ended up stopping at the doctor this week, his thought was also heat exhaustion but his only tips were water, rest, and extra electrolytes the next time around - in his defense, it's hard to know two days after the fact.
  11. EVE_Bishop

    EVE_Bishop Active Member

    Fort Lauderdale
    You might be having an issue with electrolytes. Not sure if the sports mio have them or not but drinking tons of water can throw your electrolytes off and that results in headaches near the base of the skull. Try some Gatorade or a pinch of salt in your water.
  12. Tyrnek

    Tyrnek Member

    It's funny that you mention running into a wall, because that's another thing that could be happening to you:

    Airsoft is exercise (unless you camp all day) and it uses up much more energy than a desk job does. I suspect that you're not eating enough during the day, and so when you run out of carbs (your muscle's preferred energy source) you crash. That HR info adds to my suspicions, since it seems you play for 4 hours straight.

    Next time you go, try to eat a carb-heavier dinner (pasta works great) the day before - this is known as carbo-loading, and is something that endurance athletes do to avoid the dreaded "bonk". Make sure to have a decent breakfast and lunch the day of, in addition to snacks. Try to keep your foods weighted more towards simpler carbs - my personal favorite is a PB and honey sandwich with banana slices, but do whatever works for you.

    It's good that you're drinking water, but I think 2.5L per hour may be too much. There's actually been research that shows that the human body during exercise can only absorb 400-800mL of water per hour, and anything more may contribute to bloating. I'd aim for 1L per hour to be on the safe side, but you really don't need that much more than that - if you feel hot, use the remaining water to get a wet towel to cool off/dump it on your head.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  13. cascade

    cascade Member

    That would be a stress/tension headache. Probably exacerbated by excessive lean forward when aiming down the sight of your gun. This causes you to need to tilt your head way back (relative positioning to your spine), tightening the muscles in the back of your neck that you havent used in awhile. When youre all done playing and relaxing, these muscles are still tight...and they are attached to the base/back of your skull...tugging and pulling on it.

    Nausea from a(ny) headache isnt the least bit uncommon either.

    Your issue is likely posture/muscle related. Youre getting old. Sucks. Welcome to club.
  14. Str8Oper6n

    Str8Oper6n New Member Supporting Member

    Avoid caffeine and hydrate at least a gallon a day for the week ahead of any big, long, and hot outdoor game. Hydrate during the game at every respawn. Should help. If you get a dull headache, feel dizzy, or stop sweating - Stop playing. 12-16 oz of water for a day of play in the heat is not nearly enough.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
  15. I_am_Akhlut

    I_am_Akhlut New Member

    Naturally you’ll want to drink enough water to stay hydrated when exercising and sweating all day but you must be cautious not to drink too much water as it can lower your sodium levels which is dangerous. Gatorade/Powerade will be key to helping you go all day beverage-wise.
  16. airsoftmaniacman

    airsoftmaniacman Active Member

    Sounds like heat exhaustion.

    Note: heat exhaustion =/= dehydration

    You can be well hydrated and still get heat exhaustion, though the two do tend to occur simultaneously.

    It sounds like your body is not used to the physical exhaustion of your playstyle. Aside from eating healthy and hydrating (don't overhydrate and get hyponatremia), you'll need to do some outdoor exercise. It takes about two weeks of outdoor exercising to acclimate your body to the current environment.
  17. thatzackwheeler

    thatzackwheeler New Member

    Yeah, running two miles two times a week and switching to real Gatorade has reduced the frequency and intensity of any heat exhaustion - thank you to everyone for the help!