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Drinking Goodsport

3 min read time


No Other Nutritional Intervention is as Powerful

Hydration status influences every single physiological system in the human body. It may seem astonishing but it’s true - every bodily system relies upon sufficient water content for optimal function. 

Hydration is especially important during physical activity because sweating causes body water content to fall. That dehydration (hypohydration) compromises physiological functions throughout the body.  Staying well hydrated (euhydration) during physical activity supports those functions and improves performance capacity.  

Proper hydration keeps heart rate and body temperature from rising too high and prevents muscle blood flow and therefore, exercise intensity, from dropping too low. Proper hydration also benefits brain function, helps maintain mental focus and makes exercise feel easier than it does when you are dehydrated.

Dehydration of even 2% of body weight is sufficient to create the conditions in which performance is diminished. When additional stressors such as warm temperatures or altitude are also present, dehydration of only 1% of body weight is enough to alter physiological responses and reduce performance capacity.  Dehydration causes widespread disruption in cardiovascular, thermoregulatory, metabolic, and brain function which combine to impair exercise performance and aspects of cognitive function. 

Consequently, minimizing dehydration by consuming fluids during exercise will help sustain important cardiovascular and metabolic functions and protect against reductions in physical performance. 

Athletes should choose whichever hydration strategy works best to minimize dehydration. Drinking to thirst, drinking ad libitum or following a personalized hydration schedule can all be effective depending upon the athlete and the exercise circumstances e.g., duration, intensity, environmental conditions, etc.  See our hydration protocol to find a hydration schedule that may work best for you.

So how important is hydration? For serious athletes, it is a crucial consideration for optimal performance in practice and competition.

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