Updated: Nov 16
Maintaining hydration is extremely important for athletes to ensure their well being and achieve peak performance, in sports. Even a slight decrease in hydration levels can have an impact on muscle performance potentially reducing it by up to 10%. Therefore it is crucial for athletes to prioritize keeping themselves hydrated.
Up to 10% of performance reduced ! Water plays a role in bodily functions. It helps regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, aid digestion and deliver nutrients and oxygen to cells. When the body lacks hydration these functions are compromised, even the slightest dehydration of 1% of body water can lead to up to 10% in performance, which is enormous.
Dehydration of 1% of body water can lead to up to 10% in performance, which is enormous.
Sweating serves as a mechanism for cooling down the body during exercise and preventing overheating. However sweating also results in the loss of water and important electrolytes. If these losses are not adequately replenished, dehydration can adversely affect performance.
Impact on muscles strength and endurance Dehydration has effects on muscle strength and endurance. Muscles require a supply of water to function optimally; when dehydrated they struggle to contract relax effectively. This can lead to muscle cramps, fatigue and an overall decrease, in strength and power. Furthermore insufficient fluid intake can make physical activities feel more challenging and exhausting directly impacting energy levels.
Blood volume Dehydration also impacts performance by reducing blood volume which puts strain on the hearts efforts to efficiently pump blood to the muscles. This results, in a decrease in the amount of oxygen delivered to the muscles leading to a decline in endurance and performance. Dehydration can also cause an increase in heart rate and core body temperature which puts strain on the body.
Not only does dehydration have effects but it also impairs cognitive function. Even mild dehydration can impact attention span, memory retention and decision making abilities. This can be particularly challenging for athletes who need to stay focused and think clearly during competitions.
To ensure hydration athletes should have a planned hydration strategy. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) it is recommended to consume 500 600 milliliters of water two to three hours before exercising. During exercise it is important to drink 200 300 milliliters of water or a sports drink every 10 20 minutes to stay hydrated. After exercise athletes should continue hydrating by consuming 450 675 milliliters of fluid for every pound lost. Including a snack or meal with carbohydrates and protein can assist in recovery.
In addition to water athletes can also benefit from consuming sports drinks that contain electrolytes such, as sodium and potassium. These help replace the electrolytes lost through sweating and maintain balance.
Download our article here:
Doctor Benoit Cailleteau
Founder of Swiss Safe Collect