Hydration why is it important and why does everyone say you have to be well hydrated?
Well first of all it’s not the hydration a few of you partake on a Friday and Saturday night, as fun as that is, it is more to do with your fluid levels when exercising.
You see the body heats up when you exercise, you know the term ‘burning calories’? well that is actually what is going on inside your body and that chemical reaction causes heat. To combat the heat your body sweats to cool you down, using the water and salt held within your body.
To see if you are properly hydrated a simple visual test is the colour of your urine, if it is a nice straw colour you are fine, if it is dark then you need to drink more water. A lack of water will affect your athletic performance, so it is important that you remain well hydrated both before and during. Your cognitive function (your thought process) decreases the more dehydrated you are, so if you are completing a task that requires hand / eye coordination this can be affected.
It is important that you know how much water you lose during exercise, that way you know how much you need to consume during sport. A simple test is to weigh yourself before you exercise and again afterwards, the difference is the amount of fluid you have lost, less what you have consumed in the class / run. I know that I lose in the reason of 1 litre of fluid an hour, so I make sure I carry a drink to sip so my performance is unaffected.
A simple homemade sports drink that you can make is as follows;
A dash of squash – for some fast sugar / energy
A pinch of salt – to replace what you lose when sweating
A litre of water – to replace the sweat
If you need help or advice on sports nutrition get in touch and we can talk.