Hydrating for Performance

When it comes to reaping the rewards for the amount of time and energy put into training for competitive athletes engaging in frequent rigorous and prolonged training sessions, additional sodium and a better hydration plan tailored to their individual physiology may significantly improve anaerobic and neurocognitive performance during a moderate to hard training session as well as heart rate recovery from this session.

A hydration plan, based on an athlete’s fluid and sodium loss has the potential to improve anaerobic power, attention and heart rate recovery time. Too often, athletes do not seek personalized data and tend to go with advice from others or how they feel. Research shows athletes both recreational and ‘hard trainers’, rarely consume sufficient fluid and electrolytes just prior to, or during training and competition.

Suboptimal hydration strategies during training and competition can significantly reduce athletic performance through increased physiological stress. A loss of as little as 1–2% of body mass through sweat causes an increase in heart rate, core temperature, muscle glycogen use, as well as a decrease in cognitive awareness, cardiac output, anaerobic power, and time to exhaustion. Inadequate replacement of sodium, lost in sweat, is thought to intensify the decline of these factors.

Hydration beverages that replace both fluid and electrolytes lost through sweat are widely available and popular in the sports drink market. However, many commercially available sports drinks do not supply enough sodium to replace the amount lost through sweat indicating that a personalized hydration strategy rather than a universal plan to mitigate dehydration imbalances could be the strategy to improved performance.

Guide:

Sweat Assessment Absolute sweat rate (L•hr.−1) 1.3 ± 0.6

Relative sweat rate (mL•kg−1 •hr.− 1) 18.8 ± 7.5

Sodium Loss (mmol•L− 1) 24.6 ± 7.1 or 500-700mg/hr ±

Past research using questionnaires, shows athletes seldom have a thorough understanding of what they should be drinking, how much they should be drinking, or how often they should be drinking. A good knowledge of hydration and intake of micro and macronutrients, is often lacking in these areas of nutrition. Instead, there is often a tendency to rely on a sense of thirst to inform them of when they should be drinking fluids during training sessions and competitions. Drinking to thirst after 60-90 minutes, exercise intensity has shown dampens the thirst response, and in women, progesterone has an added affect to response especially during the second half of the menstrual cycle.

Athletic performance is defined by several metrics: heart rate recovery, anaerobic power, and attention and awareness. A common regime is to drink at 15 min intervals at a volume of fluid that prevents a 2% bodyweight loss as well as any weight gain. The question here is how much fluid and what is the level of electrolyte and carbohydrate. An isotonic beverage is the same level as cells where as a hypotonic drink has more water than a hypertonic beverage to influence cellular balance. All can have their place.

Studies have examined the effects of isotonic beverages on sport’s performance, and compare such beverages to water. Understandably there is variance as the sodium loss rate of individuals is different and higher sodium sports drinks or salt capsules may be advisable for athletes engaged in prolonged exercise of 3 h or more in order to maintain serum electrolyte concentrations.

Many athletes feel that their current hydration strategies are effective, although they do report feeling dehydrated after a training session. The disconnect between pre training hydration and inadequate hydration during training is reported despite fluid being readily available especially at competitive events.

Because many factors affect hydration levels and physiological differences also play a hand, a good base strategy in hot and humid climates should include a pre-load before and after exercise to support the flow of fluids early. Leaving it too late once the heartrate is up, has a limiting affect on fluids and carbohydrates crossing the gut barrier. Working out your fluid, carbohydrate and sodium over the hour is variable.

It is recommended that carb intake is anywhere between 60-120g per hour in small amounts such as a minimum of 15g per 15 minutes. Finding the carbohydrates that work best for you is trial and error.

Fluid depends on the temperature and humidity and can be anywhere from 500mls to 1500mls. A starting point is to ensure you are having at least 125mls every 15 minutes supplemented with electrolytes and carbohydrates.

Weighing yourself before and after and allowing for hydration is a good way to work out weight loss which is fluid loss.

Based on the many studies on fluids and fueling, the longer an event, the more critical it appears to be to have an adequate hydration plan in place that considers sweat rate and composition.  Increasing hydration awareness along with providing pre-marked bottles that state how much fluid should be consumed by set time periods, if feasible, may be one approach to overcoming this issue.

References:

Ayotte D and Corcoran MP (2018) Individualized hydration plans improve performance outcomes for collegiate athletes engaging in in-season training. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; 15(27).

Holland JJ et al (2017) The influence of drinking fluid on endurance cycling performance: a meta-analysis. Sports Med

Logan-Sprenger HM et al (2015) The effect of dehydration on muscle metabolism and time trial performance during prolonged cycling in males. Physiol Rep; 3(8).

Hydrating for Performance

When it comes to reaping the rewards for the amount of time and energy put into training for competitive athletes engaging in frequent rigorous and prolonged training sessions, additional sodium and a better hydration plan tailored to their individual physiology may significantly improve anaerobic and neurocognitive performance during a moderate to hard training session as well as heart rate recovery from this session.

A hydration plan, based on an athlete’s fluid and sodium loss has the potential to improve anaerobic power, attention and heart rate recovery time. Too often, athletes do not seek personalized data and tend to go with advice from others or how they feel. Research shows athletes both recreational and ‘hard trainers’, rarely consume sufficient fluid and electrolytes just prior to, or during training and competition.

Suboptimal hydration strategies during training and competition can significantly reduce athletic performance through increased physiological stress. A loss of as little as 1–2% of body mass through sweat causes an increase in heart rate, core temperature, muscle glycogen use, as well as a decrease in cognitive awareness, cardiac output, anaerobic power, and time to exhaustion. Inadequate replacement of sodium, lost in sweat, is thought to intensify the decline of these factors.

Hydration beverages that replace both fluid and electrolytes lost through sweat are widely available and popular in the sports drink market. However, many commercially available sports drinks do not supply enough sodium to replace the amount lost through sweat indicating that a personalized hydration strategy rather than a universal plan to mitigate dehydration imbalances could be the strategy to improved performance.

Guide:

Sweat Assessment Absolute sweat rate (L•hr.−1) 1.3 ± 0.6

Relative sweat rate (mL•kg−1 •hr.− 1) 18.8 ± 7.5

Sodium Loss (mmol•L− 1) 24.6 ± 7.1 or 500-700mg/hr ±

Past research using questionnaires, shows athletes seldom have a thorough understanding of what they should be drinking, how much they should be drinking, or how often they should be drinking. A good knowledge of hydration and intake of micro and macronutrients, is often lacking in these areas of nutrition. Instead, there is often a tendency to rely on a sense of thirst to inform them of when they should be drinking fluids during training sessions and competitions. Drinking to thirst after 60-90 minutes, exercise intensity has shown dampens the thirst response, and in women, progesterone has an added affect to response especially during the second half of the menstrual cycle.

Athletic performance is defined by several metrics: heart rate recovery, anaerobic power, and attention and awareness. A common regime is to drink at 15 min intervals at a volume of fluid that prevents a 2% bodyweight loss as well as any weight gain. The question here is how much fluid and what is the level of electrolyte and carbohydrate. An isotonic beverage is the same level as cells where as a hypotonic drink has more water than a hypertonic beverage to influence cellular balance. All can have their place.

Studies have examined the effects of isotonic beverages on sport’s performance, and compare such beverages to water. Understandably there is variance as the sodium loss rate of individuals is different and higher sodium sports drinks or salt capsules may be advisable for athletes engaged in prolonged exercise of 3 h or more in order to maintain serum electrolyte concentrations.

Many athletes feel that their current hydration strategies are effective, although they do report feeling dehydrated after a training session. The disconnect between pre training hydration and inadequate hydration during training is reported despite fluid being readily available especially at competitive events.

Because many factors affect hydration levels and physiological differences also play a hand, a good base strategy in hot and humid climates should include a pre-load before and after exercise to support the flow of fluids early. Leaving it too late once the heartrate is up, has a limiting affect on fluids and carbohydrates crossing the gut barrier. Working out your fluid, carbohydrate and sodium over the hour is variable.

It is recommended that carb intake is anywhere between 60-120g per hour in small amounts such as a minimum of 15g per 15 minutes. Finding the carbohydrates that work best for you is trial and error.

Fluid depends on the temperature and humidity and can be anywhere from 500mls to 1500mls. A starting point is to ensure you are having at least 125mls every 15 minutes supplemented with electrolytes and carbohydrates.

Weighing yourself before and after and allowing for hydration is a good way to work out weight loss which is fluid loss.

Based on the many studies on fluids and fueling, the longer an event, the more critical it appears to be to have an adequate hydration plan in place that considers sweat rate and composition.  Increasing hydration awareness along with providing pre-marked bottles that state how much fluid should be consumed by set time periods, if feasible, may be one approach to overcoming this issue.

References:

Ayotte D and Corcoran MP (2018) Individualized hydration plans improve performance outcomes for collegiate athletes engaging in in-season training. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition; 15(27).

Holland JJ et al (2017) The influence of drinking fluid on endurance cycling performance: a meta-analysis. Sports Med

Logan-Sprenger HM et al (2015) The effect of dehydration on muscle metabolism and time trial performance during prolonged cycling in males. Physiol Rep; 3(8).