- BLOG -
Hands up who drinks enough water each day? Yep, didn’t think so!
With the weather heating up, it’s a great opportunity to remind you about how important hydration is for event preparation, performance and recovery.
This week we discuss water’s role in the body. In the next post, we'll delve deeper into how to calculate your own fluid replacement during events and what the best method is.
Water makes up approximately 60% of our body, so it’s important to stay hydrated! It's needed for:
- Body temperature regulation
- Maintaining blood volume
- Carrying nutrients and waste products throughout the body
- Assisting in chemical reactions
- Solvent for minerals, vitamins, amino acids and glucose
- Lubrication and cushioning around joints
- Shock absorption inside the eyes and spinal cord
Hydration in Sport:
If too much water is lost from the body during exercise, blood volume and blood pressure will fall.
Losing just 1-2% of body weight in fluid through perspiration, the athlete becomes thirsty and tired, impacting performance
After a 4% loss of body weight, muscles lose significant strength and endurance.
By 10-12% heat tolerance is decreased, the athlete feels extremely weak and performance is greatly reduced.
By 20%, things aren’t looking to flash! Coma and death may soon follow.
Dehydration, simply put, is not drinking enough fluids to replace what has been lost through our daily activities. It causes an increase in heart rate and body temperature, increase in lactic acid in muscles and decreases your muscle strength. In severe cases, heat cramping and heat stroke will occur.
It is possible to be too hydrated! Overhydration occurs when the body is unable to process excess water. This can be for a few reasons, eg. over consumption of water, liver disease, kidney problems or heart complications.
This fluid retention has a major impact on the level of sodium in the body, diluting it so much that proper body functions cannot occur. This leads to serious side effects of muscle spasms and cramping, seizures and ultimately a coma.
Dehydration and overhydration are major things to consider when preparing, competing and recovering from an event. As mentioned, just 1-2% loss of body weight through fluid loss is enough to impact your performance.
Keeping this info in mind, in the next post we look at how you can adjust your own hydration plan. You can apply this to any sport, whether amateur or elite.
We also cover the best method to use when rehydrating from your chosen sport and why.
The Cycling Fix Team
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Sports Nutrition: Getting an edge the right way
Hydration in Sport: Part 2
Hydration in Sport: Part 1
Back to Basics: Benefits of a Warm up and Cool down