Sports Nutrition – Hydration Hype
Cool off with water for your summer sports
By Andrea Holwegner, Health Stand Nutrition Consulting Inc.
Why do we need water?
- Makes up 70% of muscle & 50-60% of body weight
- Digestion, absorption, & transport of nutrients
- Elimination of waste products
- Coolant for maintaining body temperature
- Lubricate joints, eyes, & air passages
2 cups (500 ml)
2 hrs. before exercise
½ -1 cup (125-250 ml)
15-20 min. intervals during exercise
Small volumes to restore body weight.
(Drink 3 cups per 1 lb. wt. lost)
Regular Intervals after exercise
- The thirst mechanism is blunted during exercise, therefore thirst is not your best indicator of your body’s needs.
How do I know if I am well hydrated?
- Amount and color of your urine (urine should be pale in color and you should urinate regularly through the day)
- Ideally your weight should be the same before & after exercise
What happens to the body when you are dehydrated?
- Increased Heart Rate
- Increased Body temperature
- Fatigue & Sleepiness
- Dizziness & Headache
- Shortness of Breath
- Decreased Muscular Strength
- Slowed Reaction Time
- Increased Perceived Exertion
- Poor Concentration
All of the effects of dehydration will decrease your sports performance and make your activity less enjoyable – so drink up!
Should I Drink a Sports Drink?
Water is all that you need if high intensity exercise is <1 hour in length. However: keeping well hydrated is the central focus and sports drinks may help you to drink more because they taste good. If you will be doing exercise that elevates the heart rate continuously longer than 1 hour (eg. running, cycling etc.) a sports drink or an alternative source of carbohydrate is needed to keep your muscles fueled with energy.