Importance of Hydration for Athletes Health

Importance of Hydration for Athletes Health

Hydration is a key aspect of concern for athletes or even for persons into recreation exercise. Right from the time, primeval species came to land from oceans to live, one major key to survival is avoiding dehydration.

As we know water comprises 75% body weight in infants and 60% of body weight in adults and 55% in the elderly and is essential for cell functioning, homeostasis, and life. As the athlete competes or trains, fluid is lost through sweat and through the lungs while breathing. While we also lose fluids through kidneys – urine excretion and gastrointestinal tract – faces. Dehydration results when one is not able to adequately replenish lost fluids at regular intervals during competition or practice.

Importance of Hydration for Athletes Health

Dehydration in athletes results in a decreased volume of blood flow through the body and consequently in

  • Amount of blood pumped by each heart decreases
  • Muscles are deprived of oxygen
  • Muscle exhaustion, fatigue and stress sets in
  • Athletes performance is negatively impacted
  • Dehydration by-products are not flushed out of the body, which creates an excess load on body organs.

There is research stating that even a 2% loss of total body weight has a negative impact on the athlete's performance and their performance rate is reduced. Also, proper hydration is required to avoid muscle injuries in athletes.

How to prevent dehydration?

The best and only way to prevent dehydration is by maintaining optimum hydration levels before, during, and after practice or competition. There is a risk of athletes not realizing that their performance is hindered through dehydration. One can easily monitor the amount of fluid required by using the below-mentioned techniques.

  • Weigh yourself before and after practice. For every 1.5 Kg loss during the workout, Drink 1.5 liters of fluid.
  • Regularly check your urine color. The dark gold color of urine is an indication of dehydration

Also, many athletes wait until their thirsty to quench in fluids. This is not an accurate indicator of how much fluid an athlete has lost. Athletes on who replenish fluid after being thirsty are already dehydrated. Scientific studies state that most individuals do not feel thirst until they have lost around 2% of body weight. 

Importance of Sports Drink

Sports drink are commonly known as carbohydrate – electrolyte beverages which help replenish electrolytes in the body and keeps our body hydrated. The fundamental behind consuming sports hydration drink is to revitalize lost fluid, electrolytes, carbohydrates and energy. Sports drink are suggested as compared to water as absence of Sodium (Na) leads to Hyponatremia, where Sodium levels drops and even becomes fatal.

Ideal sports drink combination

When it comes to sports drink there are various options available in the market. Ideal combination is the one that tastes good, do not cause GI distress when consumed during race, helps with faster hydration, maintaining electrolytes balance and provide instant and sustained energy during intense training and competition.

Bottom Line

To conclude, one must hydrate well to stay at top of their game. Severe dehydration and hyperthermia impair submaximal and maximal endurance performance.