As an athlete you probably want as many tips as possible on how to be at your best performance always. Staying hydrated is essential for everyone, but as an athlete your need to maintain proper hydration is even greater. Maintaining your water and electrolyte levels is as important as nutrient intake to keep your athletic body performing at its peak.
Water is the most important nutrient for life and it supports many important functions in your body such as regulating your body temperature, lubricating joints and transporting nutrients and waste throughout the body.
Staying hydrated is particularly important during exercise, and the longer and more intensely you exercise, the more important it is to drink the right amount and kind of fluids.
Poor hydration can significantly weaken your performance levels. Everyday when you exercise you not only lose water, you also lose other electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, calcium that are lost from the body with water through sweating and excretion. Lack of these electrolytes in the proper ratios will contribute to intracellular muscle dehydration, which leads to inability of muscle cells to remove metabolic acids, which accumulate and cause muscle cell fatigue and damage. Additionally, dehydration increases your risk of developing muscle cramps and heat exhaustion Drinking fluids and electrolytes is indispensable for you to avoid dehydration and ensuring maximum performance.
To ensure you stay well hydrated, remember to take water before, during and after exercise to remain hydrated. Do not wait until you feel thirsty to have a drink.
For most moderately active people, daily water needs range between 3 and 5 liters, but extended periods of intense exercise can increase daily water requirements to more than 10 liters. Water requirements vary from individuals and also depend on differences in metabolic rates, body mass and size, environmental condition, physical fitness and activity duration.
It is advisable to avoid soda and beverages with caffeine. They have diuretic effect, which will facilitate excretion of more fluids, thus worsening your dehydration.
If you hydrate and fuel before you train or exercise, your body will function properly and your muscles will have more energy. That means you can work out for longer and harder without over heating or running out of fuel. So take a few minutes to eat and drink before work outs and competitions. You will be able to enjoy more energy, better hydration and improved performance, along with faster recovery and less chance of injury.