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Hydration and exercise

by | Oct 19, 2017 | 0 comments

Water is essential for life, our body is composed of 60-70% water. This helps regulate body temperature, breathing, is essential for digestion and excretion processes, lubricates and provides structural support to tissues and joints.


During the practice of physical activity, our body regulates its temperature through sweating, losing much more with high temperatures, therefore the contribution of liquids must be greater during this to prevent dehydration and its effects.


Effects of dehydration on physical exercise

A dehydration will have a negative effect on both the performance and the health of the person. At the performance level, there is going to be a decrease in physical endurance, muscle strength, and there may even be an increase in the likelihood of injury (due to the lubricating effect of the water). At the health level, there may be a number of symptoms such as muscle cramps, dizziness or even, in extreme cases, death.


Isotonic drinks

Although water  is always the most recommended, it will be much easier to get a proper hydration if it is fresh, and much more if it is flavored. This is where isotonic drinks come in, which in addition to the pleasant taste, they contain carbohydrates and a greater amount of electrolytes than water, which is why they are called sports drinks.

These are recommended when you are going to practice a very intense and prolonged physical activity (for more than one hour). It should be noted that if you do not train so hard and consume them daily, you can gain weight because of their high carbohydrate content.


Recommendations for good hydration

You should not wait to be thirsty to drink water, because it does not appear until 1 or 2% of body water has been lost, when the body is already dehydrated and the performance has started to decrease, therefore you  must hydrate before during and after physical exercise.

Before: It is recommended to drink about half a liter of water half an hour before starting the exercise. If it is a long-term activity, such as a marathon, good hydration is recommended from days before.

During: depends on the intensity of the exercise to be performed, about 120 ml every 10 minutes. If the activity is prolonged for more than 2 hours, isotonic drinks are recommended to replace electrolytes. avoid drinking during  high respiratory rate (hyperventilation), because hydrating us at this time deprive the body of oxygen when you need it most. Drink when the respiratory rate has decreased favors the assimilation of liquids, however do not drink too much, as we may feel discomfort in the stomach.

After: it is important to replenish liquids as soon as sports practice ends, this guarantees an optimal recovery.


We hope this information will help you from now on to plan your hydration for a good workout and an optimal recovery.

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Ronny Schuerch

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