Hydration & Athletic Performance

Ensuring the correct levels of hydration when you’re an athletic performer is absolutely essential. In today’s blog post we are going to investigate how to remain hydrated before, during and after exercise.

Why is Hydration Important?

When exercising, fluids are lost through breathing and sweating. Some individuals can lose as much as up to two litres in a single hour and this liquid needs to be refilled. If it’s not replaced, the body can become dehydrated and this will have a negative impact on training and exercise. Without the correct levels of water whilst exercising, your will begin to experience exhaustion and not be able to control body temperature. Water helps to fuel muscles so it’s vital to drink before, during and after exercise in order to get the very best from performance.

Hydration First

It’s just as important to be hydrated before exercising as it is to remain hydrated during. If you’re exercising in warmer climes or we happen to have a particularly hot day in the UK, water should be considered even more than normal. Exercising whilst not hydrated means the heart is required to work harder. Core temperature rises faster and this can negatively affect performance. Worst case scenario here, especially in the warm weather is heat stroke.

How to Determine if you’re Hydrated

If you’re unsure regarding hydration levels you can examine the colour of your urine. Pale yellow means suggests the body fully hydrated. Towards the other end of the scale however, a dark yellow urine suggests the need for clear fluids (water) without delay. It takes time for the body to absorb fluids and therefore recommended to drink water steadily throughout the day and at least three hours before exercising. In the ten to fifteen minutes before exercising, top up fluids with  at least 250ml.

Remain Hydrated During Exercise

As we have learned, this is a crucial element when exercising. Having a water bottle close by will encourage plentiful drinking through small amounts such as sips. This is known in helping reach exercise and performance targets.

3 hydrate bottles with heavy weight

How much should you drink when Exercising?

This very much depends on how long an exercise session lasts and the amount of perspiration. The latter results in the body losing water and this is influenced by body size, level of fitness, exercise intensity and environmental temperature.

A great method is to listen to your body  and respond quickly. If you feel very thirsty, drink. Be sure to always have a bottle of water available when exercising so you do not become dehydrated. Ideally you will sip throughout exercising. This in one of the best ways of remaining hydrated.

Hydration After Exercise

On completion of exercise, it’s likely you’ll feel thirsty. When drinking you will not only feel refreshed, muscle recovery will occur faster. The sooner you begin to replace fluid, the faster the body recovers as a whole.

Conclusion

Water is extremely important for the body, especially during training and exercise. Sipping throughout the day and ensuring you’ve a water bottle on hand during exercise will help combat dehydration whilst keeping the body at its peak.

“More water, more miles, more sweat, more effort, more satisfaction”.