Hydration: one of the most important part of athlete's life
Why hydration plays a crucial role in athletes’ life?
Water has so many important roles in our bodies. During exercise, water helps to maintain blood volume and regulate our core temperature. Water helps our body to keep cool, we sweat and lose water through evaporation on our skin. If we do not replace this lost water our body becomes dehydrated. If our body fluid decreases>2% of body mass, our blood volume decreases and hampers the homeostasis of blood flow and blood pressure. This condition leads to lactic acid formation and speeds up fatigue. As a result, performance decreases and hyponatremia (low sodium concentration) occur. Fluid and electrolyte needs are highly individualized because of the variations in sweat rates between people and exercising in different conditions. Sweat rate is affected by several factors including temperature, the intensity of exercise, body size, genetics, and fitness level
Symptoms of dehydration
Low urine output
Dark yellow urine
Fluctuations in body weight
How much fluid do you need to consume as an athlete?
Fluid intake depends on an individual’s needs and the rules and regulations of the sport. Different sports have different hydration needs. Here are some tips to help you with your fluid goals
· Hydrate yourself before exercise; this will decrease the risk of becoming dehydrated during sport. There is no performance benefit to drink excessive amounts of fluid before exercise it may increase urination and feel bloated.
· Prepare a hydration chart based on your exercise schedule drink water or sports drinks according to that during exercise.
· Immediately after exercise, measure weight change to calculate final fluid deficit. During recovery, you will lose fluids through sweating and urine so replace this fluid depletion within the next 2-4hours. If you lost 1 kg weight immediately after exercise you will need to drink 1250-1500mL to fully re-hydrate.
What not to drink during exercise?
Avoid soda soft drinks or juice. These are usually high in carbohydrates and low in sodium.do not drink caffeine, which can be a diuretic (which means it makes you pass more urine and lose more fluid).
If you’re sweating, you need to be drinking fluids. That way, you’ll prevent the risk of heat stress, maintain normal body function, and maintain performance levels. Stay hydrated.