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  • Writer's pictureCasey

Great performance through hydration


One of the most important things that we do with our bodies is to feed it. We feed our bodies with things that are healthy so that we can perform well in general life. It is very general knowledge that water is the key to success in curing the dehydration woes. Every athlete has heard that the color of their urine is a key to understanding their hydration level. However, there are many more hints that the body will give to express that you are dehydrated.

  • Day to day body weight changes are an acute estimate of hydration changes, if careful baseline measures are obtained and confounding factors are controlled.

  • Clinical signs and symptoms such as thirst, dizziness, headache, tachycardia, oral mucosal surface moisture, skin, trembling should not be ignored, but are too generalized and too imprecise to accurately assess the presence of hydration or dehydration in an athlete.

  • Urine-specific gravity, urine color, and urine osmolality are useful screening measures of hydration status.

  • Urine colour (dark), smell (strong) and volume (small).

  • Poor concentration, co-ordination and reaction time;

  • Increased body temperature resulting in increased risk of heat stress/exhaustion;

  • Exercise is perceived as being more difficult;

  • Increased use of carbohydrate (glycogen stores) leading to quicker fatigue;

  • Increased heart rate/cardiovascular strain;

  • Nausea and gastrointestinal upset;

  • Muscle cramping

The amount of hydration you need is based on your performance. What sport are you partaking in? What is the temperature you’re performing in? In the heat of the summer, everyone knows to practice hydration. The issue is how much and what are you to drink? Sports drinks are flavored to encourage you to drink. But these run the risk of providing a lot of sugar that you do not need to perform. Sometimes water is simply what you need. Listen to your body. Look at your environment and understand what you need to ensure that your hydration is perfect for your performance needs.

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