Water: the Elixir of Life

Friday, November 12, 2021

Water: The Elixir of Life

Hydration

Hydration is a key stakeholder in performance, one that isn't spoken about enough. A dehydrated athlete, who completes intermittent high-intensity exercise like football, rugby, or hockey can find themselves working at 55% capacity when they are even slightly dehydrated! 

What happens when I’m dehydrated? 

Due to the lack of fluid in the body, numerous things happen! There is a reduction in the volume of your blood, which makes it much more difficult to pump around your body. Your core temperature may also increase, due to less sweating and less skin blood flow.

All of this means that you’ll be less able to do exercise! Your body will find it harder to complete exercise of any type, you might find it difficult to do training at the same intensity as usual, even without any of the other dehydration symptoms. In fact, a lot of athletes can do a full session without realising they are dehydrated. 

So, how do I know if I’m dehydrated? 

Within academia they talk a lot about fluid loss through percentages of body mass, which, in reality, is actually a really easy thing to measure. If you weigh yourself before a session and you are 90kg, but after the session you are 88kg, you’re pretty dehydrated! 

Another easy way to tell, is if you exhibit any of the symptoms of dehydration. such as:

  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • Headache
  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Dizziness
  • Dark urine

So, make sure you take on fluids during the day, at training and after training, to replenish what you’ve lost.


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