The complex interaction of a number of physiological processes triggered by water losses and leading to the conscious sensation of thirst. The thirst mechanism involves control centres in the brain and hypothalamus. Unfortunately, feelings of thirst do not come into play until after an athlete loses significant amounts of body fluids. Therefore, to minimize the risk of dehydration, athletes should drink plenty of watery fluids during and after exercise, even if they do not feel thirsty. See also dehydration.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.