Is Hydration A Big concern for Athletes?
Water is essential to help maintain blood, regulate body temperature and muscle functions. Good hydration is one of the most important nutrition priorities for athletes. You as Athletes must drink fluids to stay adequately hydrated before, during and after exercise. Even a loss of 1% body weight can reduce your performance.
Water is a sufficient fluid for hydration But supplements can help replace some important nutrients.
During exercise, your body produces sweat to help cool it down. Athletes who train for long intervals or in hot conditions can lose large amounts of fluid through sweat, this can lead to dehydration.
It is essential that you drink fluid before, during and after exercise to replace fluid lost from sweating.
By the time you feel thirsty your body is already dehydrated which will influence your performance.
Can Water Help Your Body
Water is the largest component in our body and the water content is 45 to 70% of our body weight. Let me explain; if your body weight is 75kg than your body contents are 33-53 litres of water. The water in your body is not just plain water and contains a wide range of electrolytes. As you absorb food your body takes in water with various nutrients. Normally you put salt on your food before you eat. Electrolytes are salts dissolved into your body through the body’s fluid. Your fluid intake helps with the acidity in the blood and also helps with muscle function.
The electrolytes your body uses are;
- Sodium (NA)
- Potassium (K)
- Calcium (Ca)
- Magnesium (Mg)
- Chloride (CI)
The Benefits Of You Maintaining The Correct Fluid Balance
During exercise your body balances the fluid in your body and helps sustain your performance through the following:
- Attenuation of increased heart rate
- attenuation of increased core temperature
- improvement in stroke volume
- improvement in cardiac output
- Improvement in skin blood flow
- Helps with muscle improvement and cramping
In Short, exercise is good for you and is very important to keep healthy.
Is Sweat Loss In Exercise Bad For Your Body?
During though physical activity your body creates heat. Your body evaporates sweat to cool the body down. If this fails to regulate body temperature, the heat can be detrimental and you may even collapse. You can lose up to 3 litres water/ sweat per hour during intense exercise.
Remember to pay attention to these factors that can affect fluid loss:
- Temperature and Humidity
- Your Clothing
- Size of your clothing
- Your level of fitness
What is Hydration Terminology?
If you are an advanced Sports Athlete then Hydration Terminology is important to know, as you as an athlete are responsible for what you eat or drink.
- Eu hydration: State of water balance
- Hyperhydration: positive water balance
- Hypohydration: negative water balance
- Dehydration: Excessive loss of fluid
- Rehydration: Fluid replacement
What Are The Dangers Of Dehydration
During exercise your body cools down through sweat, depending on exercising in the heat. As dehydration increases, there is a gradual reduction in your physical and mental performance. Your body will slow down because it does not have enough fluid to carry out normal functions. Most importantly, the blood volume decreases and places extra strain on your heart, lungs and circulation systems.
Here are a few Symptoms of Dehydration to look out for:
- Stomach upset
- Dry/Sticky Mouth
- Dark urine
Percent Dehydration And it’s Physical Effects:
1% Dehydration – Increased body temperature
2% Dehydration – Impaired performance
5% Dehydration – G.I. problems, heat exhaustion
7% Dehydration – Hallucinations
10% Dehydration – Circulatory collapse
How To Stop The Symptoms Of Dehydration
Ensure you are fully hydrated, however, be careful not to over hydrate as that may result in Hyponatremia. Always having a drink close to you containing Carbohydrate (CHO) and Sodium (NA) is more effective than having plain water.
- Begin exercise well hydrated. Aim to drink 200 – 600ml prior to the event
- Get to know your sweat rate by weighing yourself before and after exercise sessions and competitions
- Aim to drink 150 – 250ml every 15 minutes during exercise
- After exercise, replace fluid losses. Weigh yourself before and after exercise. For every 0.5kg body weight lost drink 500ml fluid
- Practice drinking at training and always make the most of the breaks to top up on fluids
- A drink that contains carbohydrate and electrolytes or a commercial sports drink, is generally more effective than water in enhancing performance. These drinks contain carbohydrate to help delay fatigue by providing glucose to the muscles, and electrolytes to replace sodium lost.
What Are The Best Sports Drinks Or Supplement?
Water is very good for dehydration, especially for low-intensity short duration exercising.
In high intensity and endurance sports lasting for longer than 60 minutes, a drink which contains carbohydrate and electrolytes is preferable. These drinks contain carbohydrate to help delay fatigue by providing glucose to the muscles and electrolytes to replace sodium lost in sweat.
Supplements normally are easy to mix and drink during rest periods.
- Hypotonic – Thirst Quencher, absorbed quicker than water. Ideal for recreational sports
- Isotonic – Thirst Quencher and provides energy; absorbed the same as water. Ideal for endurance sports
- Hypertonic – Supplies energy, taken up slower than water, Ideal for less strenuous long duration exertions
Do You Recognise This Soccer Player?
Cristiano Ronaldo – Own brand CR7 DRIVE energy drink
Cristiano Ronaldo – Second Time Winner of FIFA Ballon D’OR
Cristiano Ronaldo was looking for something special in Herbalife products for Sports Nutrition. CR7 Drive- Energy Drink is developed in conjunction with Herbalife Science team and Cristiano Ronaldo’s new sports drink to improve his performance.
Many Professional and Medallist Athletes over the world are using Herbalife products. All supplements have been tested and approved to be used by any athletes. Here is just a handful. Kindly do your own research.
- Piwe Zulu – Motor Bike – Sponsored by Herbalife Sports Nutrition
- Caterine Ibarguen – Rio 2016 – Gold Medalist – Using Herbalife Sports Nutrition
- Nile Wilson – Bronze Medal – Using Herbalife Sports Nutrition
- Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloview- Gold medalists – Skating – Using Herbalife Sports Nutrition
- Special Olympics – Herbalife sponsor SA team
Karate Shihan 8th Dan
KSI Joint World Chief Instructor – South Africa.
He is using all the Herbalife Products
Thorsten Nickel – Actor/Martial Artist – 4th Dan – Using all Herbalife products
– Rugby – WP (Stormers) South Africa.
Using all Herbalife Products
Gold medallist in 1984 Olympics in Waterpolo.
B.Sc. in Sports Medicine using Herbalife products
I hope that this post has given you something to think about. You should never underestimate the importance of hydration.
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