H20 is the most valuable source on the planet second to Oxygen which is underutilized by many in the sporting world and in the general population group
#1 reason is that our body weight consist fluid, this includes blood accumulating to 70-80%. From outdoor sports such as Tennis to indoor sports such as Combat sports, either way athletes have to battle against weather especially in hot & humid environment from weight cutting, weight gaining without hampering their performance. Athletes needs to monitor not only hydration levels, also electrolytes levels to perform better on daily basis based on the individual requirement , training cycle and any other related factors.
Not having this basic nutrient its sure path to decrease performance, injury and health issues.
It’s not a surprise, from our basic metabolic needs of daily living urination, digestion, breathing, environmental factors , individual metabolic capacity and sporting requirement , S&C to technical , recovery, training intensities, programming , sports equipment ,gear & clothing etc. We lose water.
This is why I always stress sports performance is a 24/7 365 gig and it can’t be captured from getting information on social media, or reading article , however those are good tips and eye openers for many.
If the athletes original hydration status & electrolyte balance is not maintained this is an indicator for heading down the road of dehydration. In sports performance , health or fitness it is fact that losing 2% in body weight due to fluid loss, will decrease athletic performance and lead to other serious conditions which will be discussed throughout this article.
4 REASONS WHY HYDRATION IS IMPORTANT:
- It transports nutrients back and forth for energy production & transports metabolic waste products out of the system. This primary function is key to healthy life & wellbeing
- Weather condition and when you engage in any physical activity your body produce heat this causes an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature body will automatically sweat by excreting water & electrolytes to reduce this high temperature as the body’s natural cooling mechanism.
- Lubricate your joints & cells
- As for athletes it’s important for Performance , growth , injury prevention & recovery
On the flip side when you do not properly hydrate the body warns you in 3 stages by different types of body alarms.
This is not only theory, I personally vouch over the years in multiple pro athletes in different countries seen and experienced the Pro’s & Con’s of the above.
In high performance sports , we do a daily monitoring of hydration conjunction with other nutrients , technical sessions, S&C sessions , recovery sessions etc . On certain occasions when budget permits with elite athletes also we use hi-tech equipment to lab work to consider lot of factors as at high level competition just 1% fluid loss will decrease fitness, blood volume, electrolytes ,ability to contract muscles & cognitive skills , If you are a competitive athlete you don’t want to lose by simply neglecting your hydration DO YOU ?
Below mentioned are few economical tips any junior, senior or recreational players can adhere to
Alarm 1: Thirst, Muscles cramps, Flushed skin
Note: This stage , you need to stop the activity, cool your body down and take rehydration drinks and monitor the situation
Alarm 2: Dizziness, Vomiting, Nausea , Chills , Shortness of breath
At this stage immediate medical attention is need evaluated by Doctor and intravenous rehydration and other medical intervention is needed
Alarm 3: Heat Stroke
Note: Never neglect stage 2 as if you reach stage 3 this when Emergency medical care is needed as this could even be fatal as death.
Other check points:
- Not peeing or having very dark yellow pee.
- Very dry skin.
- Bad breath
- Rapid heartbeat.
- Rapid breathing.
- Sunken eyes.
- Lack of energy
- Confusion or irritability
As coaches, athletes or parents consider the below tips to stay hydrated and to rehydrate.
Note: Before Starting any physical activity or sports its is advisable take a full medical & nutrition check up talk to your doctor and proceed with your sports
- As habit check your body weight when properly hydrated, also check after Tennis/Fitness/Combat session to consider body weight loss through water.
- You need to replace weight you lose during the session with water & hydration to bring it back to the normal level
- Upon waking up in the morning check the urine color it should be the color of lemonade , if it is too dark you could be already dehydrated
- Water requirement varies according to the player’s weight, age, metabolism, muscle mass, training adaptability, S&C sessions,training cycle, nutrition, recovery & geographical location etc.
- However for adult athletes as international norm is 2.7-3.7 Liters of water this could vary upon the individual requirement as stated above
Note: Water (also what you consume via fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, milk, coconut water) count as well.
- Sample timing for hydration :
- 2 hours prior to Tennis : 400ml-600ml
- During every 15-20 minutes : 150-350ml
- After activity : 400-650 ml for 1 lb of body weight loss during the session
Rehydration & Sports drinks:
Before we discuss about Sports drink we need to understand what electrolytes are.
Electrolytes are minerals which are found in your body, especially in blood, urine, tissue & body fluid that have an electric charge, these are especially important for muscle contraction & it balances the amount of water in your body.
Top 3 Electrolytes are (sodium, potassium & chloride) only way to if you are in the range is to get a blood test then consume the appropriate amounts.
On the contrary lacking electrolytes can cause seizures, coma, cardiac issues etc also remember over-hydration & electrolytes can also cause dizziness, nausea, heart arrhythmia, fluctuation or your pulse etc.
Sports drinks not only contain water it comes with addition with electrolytes & carbohydrates etc., ideal for professional athletes , as for juniors do not depend on these as these are quick fixes for professional athletes always stick to natural sources of food & hydration.
If you must invest in sports drinks consult your Doctor as these typically have artificial preservatives, colors, flavors or banned substances.
Hope this helps till next time , love your feedback.
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