Sport performance and hydration

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How many times have we heard about the importance of hydration in sports performance? It is possible for someone to achieve optimal hydration levels?

Importance of hydration

The term “hydration” refers to the fluid and electrolyte balance of the body’s cells, so that they can work properly. Human body consists of 75% water, a balance which is maintained between daily fluid lost and liquids’ intake. Increased temperature and intensive or prolonged exercise increase body’s fluid losses, which furtherly increase fluid requirements.


Hydration and sports

During workout blood volume and respiratory rate are increased and thus there is an increase in fluid and electrolyte losses. Insufficient replenishing of liquids leads to dehydration. Dehydration can cause:

  • confusion
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • loss of concentration

elements that both significantly reduce athletic performance.


Hydration before exercise

Proper hydration before exercise begins several hours (~ 4-5) before the scheduled workout. In recent years, reports indicate that among fluids that can be used for hydration are water, coffee, tea and juices. Key point before training is that regardless of the amount of fluid consumed, the bladder must be empty before exercise. Practically, take some water (500ml ~) at a presence of a snack that contains sodium few hours before exercise.


Hydration during exercise

Liquid loss rate is very different from person to person. However, because the effects of dehydration significantly affect athletic performance, athletes should pay attention to their proper hydration, especially in the summer. For activities that last less than one hour, water is quite sufficient. However exercises that last more than an hour require drinks containing electrolytes, especially sodium, as well as small amounts of glucose.

To prevent dehydration there should be consumed athletic beverages that contain sodium whether water should be consumed with food. The most simple and practical solution for sports is taking sports drinks by dissolving powder or effervescent tablets in water. For exercises that exceed the period of 1 hour, it is proposed to gradually take ½ to 1lt of hypotonic or isotonic sport drink. It is advised not to take caffeinated beverages during exercise.


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