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The importance of hydration during sport

Published : 06/02/2017 18:09:27
Categories : All , Nutrition

The importance of hydration during sport

Hydration during a race is essential not only because of the final result but also because of injuries. Our organism needs a certain quantity of water to work properly, avoid the performance falling and the cells being affected. Besides, the hydration will affect several functions which will determine our performance. Water is the most important constituent of our organism, since it represents the 60% of our body. Dehydration is the performance’s worst enemy in a race: reduces the speed movement and causes injuries, tendinitis, cramps, fatigue, heat stroke, digestive disorder and a drop in the performance.

An imperceptible dehydration of 1% of the body weight eliminating water reduces the muscular and physical performance in 10%!

A person’s dehydration will have a negative effect in their performance and health. Speaking about performance, it will cause a falling in the endurance strength, and in the muscular strength, and even it can elevate the possibility of suffering injuries (due to the lubricant effect of the water). Speaking about health, several diseases can appear, from muscular cramps, dizziness or even, in extreme cases, the death.

The way our organism has to warn us that we need water is thirst. However, this appears with some delay, when the fall of the performance already happened, so it’s necessary drinking water even when we are not thirsty, following a strategy including drinking water before, during and after training or competitions. Yes, during the sport training is also necessary to drink. Some people say they have ache, but the reason is not this one, they are a consequence of not breathing properly while they are drinking. The solution? Practice drinking water when you train, you will coordinate better your breathing. Practice how to drink water and you won’t have problems in your competitions.

So, we have clear that dehydration is one of the problems to avoid when we do exercise, and some tips to get it are these: drink enough liquid during the whole day, as long as this is fresh and the flavor pleasant (avoiding carbonated drinks) and following a strategy including drinking water before, during and after exercise.

When we choose the drink, is better to drink water since this is the liquid which goes faster into the organism. If you want to have an energy drink during a long distance race, try it twice or three times during a long training so you make sure your body tolerates it. In the competition don’t be okay only with that drink, drink also water. As much diluted the energy drink is in water, it will be easier for your body to tolerate it. And also the sugars it contains will go better into your body. And remember, before, during or after the race, drink water at room temperature, never cold (it could cause stomach problems).

Many injuries, especially tendinitis, are typical in winter, as with the cold we tend to drink less. Don’t forget to hydrate yourself properly even when it’s cold.

Some of the functions the water realizes in our body are:

  • The thermoregulation. Practicing exercise raises our body temperature, and the water emission in the form of sweat is one of the ways to get cool.  So, we need to replace water we are losing in the form of sweat.
  • The nutrition. Water plays an essential role in the nutrients transport we ingest to the muscular cells, as well as in their absorption.
  • Water is also fundamental in eliminating wasteand in articulations lubrication.

Besides, the water we ingest is not only composed of hydrogen and oxygen. If we observe the label we can check is also has electrolytes (sodium, potassium, chlorine, calcium…) which also affect functions like nerve impulse, muscular contraction or pH levels (responsible for the appearance of fatigue).

A common mistake is to think in the importance of hydration just after running, which, apart from bring physical consequences (often dangerous), your performance will fall considerably, so you have to pay more attention to this aspect.

Steps in a proper hydration

Before physical exercise: begin with little water intakes around half an hour before doing the exercise.  We should in total drink around half liter to get a good hydration condition.

During the exercise: it depends on the intensity of the exercise we do. Generally we can establish intake 120 ml every 10 minutes or 180 ml every 20 minutes. Larger intakes are not necessary.

After the exercise: its important starting the intake of water just after finishing the sport practice. We will drink abundant (150% of lost water) and this intake is especially important if we are going to train next day again. After the race we must drink again in order to provide the necessary liquid to our organism and evacuate waste and toxins.

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