hydration is about much more than water. One of the key drivers of athletic performance is fluids & electrolytes. Fluid and electrolyte balance is critical for the function of all organs and, indeed, for maintaining health in general. The water compartment of the body contains electrolytes, the concentration and composition of which are critical for moving fluid between intracellular and extracellular compartments and for maintaining membrane electrochemical potentials. Daily water losses can be substantial and we need to emphasize the hydration status.
Physical exercise and heat stress cause both fluid and electrolyte imbalances that need to be corrected. During exercise, sweat output is known to often exceed water intake, which results in a body water deficit and electrolyte losses. Generally, people dehydrate during exercise in the heat because of the unavailability of urinals or a mismatch between thirst and water requirements.
Even slight dehydration can bring down your performance significantly. Dehydration due to an increase in core temperature and sweat loss is the primary cause of fatigue even in moderate climatic conditions. The high sweat rate during intermittent exercise can result in dehydration, and dehydration associated with as little as a 2% bodyweight loss can impair performance.
HERE'S THE SCIENCE BEHIND SWEAT LOSS THAT CAUSES DEHYDRATION
During exercise, evaporation is usually the primary mechanism of heat dissipation. The evaporation of sweat from the surface of the skin helps to assist the body in regulating core body temperature. The core body temperature can rise rapidly if the body cannot adequately evaporate sweat from the surface of the skin. One of the known side effects of sweating is the loss of valuable fluids from the limited or finite reservoir within the body, this rate is related to individual differences, intensity of exercise, different environmental conditions, acclimatization state, clothing, hydration, and baseline status.
One of the major reasons why athletes feel dehydrated is due to the sweat loss which exceeds fluid intake. Hence, a person with a high sweat rate can be rapidly dehydrated when he undertakes intense training sessions in a hot, humid environment. Athletes may begin to compromise physiologic functions with dehydration of even 1% to 2% which may negatively influence performance.
An athlete is at an increased risk of developing an exertional heat illness such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, or heat cramps when dehydration of greater than 3% body weight disturbs physiologic functions. This level of dehydration can be induced within just an hour of intense exercise sessions and maybe more rapidly if the athlete begins his sessions already dehydrated.
The onset of significant dehydration is at least modifiable or preventable when the right protocols for adequate hydration are followed. Such hydration protocols can assure the most safest and productive athletic experience.
Monitoring your hydration status is very vital for optimal athletic performance. It is very important to replenish your fluids & electrolytes lost ensuring your body has the fluids it needs to perform.
SO, HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOU ARE WELL-HYDRATED?
can be of great help while on the go. Supplements with a combination of not only electrolytes but also vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and antioxidants can be of great importance.
WHICH IS THE IDEAL HYDRATION SUPPLEMENT FOR ATHLETES?
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