Do you know that if you are hydrating correctly, you can increase your performance as an athlete? There are a lot of other things more to hydration than just drinking water. If you understand the effects and facts of hydration, it will not only improve athletic performance and endurance but also prevent you from injuries. Find more about the effects of Hydration on Athletic Performance below.
Those people who are non-athlete even know the importance of keeping themselves hydrated, but the athlete’s endurance for proper hydration is crucial. There are three elements that you should know about and how they work with each other.
Even though water has no nutrient value, it is still the most critical fueling of all your exercise needs. Human body composition has up to 70% of water. That’s why it is essential to have proper hydration for blood flow and cellular metabolism. Both of these affect the athletic performance of an athlete.
Loss of body water
When you exercise more than 30 minutes, it is not very difficult to lose too much water. For example, if we talk about a woman with a weight of 50 kilograms, it means that her body consists of 35 kilograms of water. Even if she loses one and a half litre of water during moderate exercise, she will already start to experience the effects of dehydration.
This loss is almost 2% of the body’s total weight, and you will begin to see the reduction in your performance. And yet you will be experiencing the thirst. If we talk about the average, a person loses about 1 litre of a body fluid after 1 hour of exercise. If the environment is scorching and damp, this amount can rise to 3 litres in an hour.
Dehydration means an inadequate amount of fluid in the body. Those athletes who participate in long workouts or endurance sports get dehydrated very quickly. Generally, a person is considered dehydrated if he lost more than 2% of the bodyweight while exercising.
Symptoms of dehydration
As an athlete, a person must have to make themself hydrated for optimal performance. If we talk about an ordinary person, with just a loss of 2% of total body fluid, anyone can suffer the following. If we talk about the athletes, they can experience this 2% loss very rapidly if they do not take the safety measurements.
- Up to 30% loss of performance
- Start to experience flushing
- Rapid heart rates
- Low endurance
- Rapid onset of fatigue
- Elevated body temperatures
Types of concerns with water intake
There are two types of problems with water intake.
- Not enough
- Too much
Hyponatremia is a state in which too much water has been drunk. This state is also called water intoxication, which is generally caused by drinking an excessive amount of plain water. The water is opposed to electrolytes that cause a low concentration of sodium in the blood. It was rare in the past but now becoming more prevalent because participation at sporting events is increasing. Another reason for the increase in hyponatremia is that more and more new exercisers are entering the endurance events.
Symptoms of hyponatremia
The early signs of this state are often subtle and might be similar to the hydration. These signs can include the following:
- Muscle Cramps
- Slurred Speech
- Confusion or Disorientation
It is evident that none of the above signs is good. Even though it is true that with calories and electrolytes, you still cannot replenish the fluids at the same rate you deplete them. The biggest reason is your body cannot absorb as fast as it loses. You can mostly absorb about 0.6 to 0.75 litres of water per hour, and even then, it will not fully replace your losses.
For optimal performance as an athlete, it is essential for you to maintain the balance. If you take a little water, you will feel bad, and your performance will also suffer. But if you take too much water, you still feel bad, and your performance still suffers. You can say that it is a way of your body to try to get your attention.
Water needs of an athlete on a daily basis
For an athlete, here’s a handy formula to figure out how much water you should drink daily. The results will be more accurate than the standard “8 glasses a day” quote. It will be your base amount, and your actual needs will be determined according to your activity level. The more activities you perform equals more perspiration. In simple words, you need to replenish the additional water that you lose. This calculation is only for water, not for energy drinks, soft drinks, tea, coffee, or juice.
(Bodyweight) x 0.5 or 0.6 = Fluid ounce to drink daily
After every hour of moderate to strenuous exercise, you need to add 0.6 to 0.75 more litres in that amount.
Lack of performance
When your body’s fluid balance (homeostasis) is out of whack, you will start to see the lack in your performance. That is why it is crucial to calculate the calorie, fluid, and electrolyte intake according to how your body can absorb. This process is called the absorption mechanism.
Importance of Hydration on Athletic Performace
Balanced fluid intake and hydration are essential for every athlete before, during, and after the exercise. It’s up to the athlete whether he/she wants to use the sports drink or just water. It depends on the training’s intensity and duration. If you do exercise for about more than 45 minutes, your body will start replacing the electrolytes in addition to water.
These are general guidelines and effects of hydration on the athletic performance of an athlete. If you are also a sportsman or a regular exerciser, then you should use your training time to determine your specific needs. You need to think about how much and how often you need to drink water to stay hydrated during the exercise. Otherwise, you might get sick or see degradation in your performance. You can also replenish your lost electrolytes with an electrolyte drink, such as Roar Organic.