Hydration, fitness and performance

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Hydration is critical when doing sports indoors. Exercise increases the water losses due to body heated when in movement. Staying properly hydrated during your workouts is essential to reduce athletes' worst enemy, dehydration.

1 - Drink water on a regular basis to stay healthy

Drinking water will compensate for the losses. The body loses on average 2.5 litres of water per day besides any workout. It is necessary to make up for these losses to maintain the body's water balance.

It is considered that a balanced diet provides 1 litre of water, so you should consume at least 1.5 litres of water to make up for the losses. 

Remember: These water needs will increase when the temperature is warm and the atmosphere dry, but also and especially when you exercise.

It is also worth noting that water contains many essential minerals, thus avoiding deficiencies and supporting overall good health.

1.5 litre daily water intake.

2 - Drink water before, during and after exercise for performance

During physical activity, dehydration can occur quickly if you don't hydrate properly. So you must remember to drink before the workout to prepare, during to reduce dehydration and after to make up for the losses.

It should be noted that dehydration, even when mild, leads to a drop in performance.  Indeed, when you work out, the bloodstream transports the nutrients and oxygen required for exertion. But, when the hydration level is lowered, the blood becomes thicker and circulates less easily, and more efforts are required to continue the activity, thus decreasing the performances.

Drink before, during and after exercise

3 - Drink water before feeling thirsty

Being thirsty or not is an unreliable indicator of how hydrated your body is, because it is a late symptom of dehydration. When you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. You should therefore give your body more water than it asks for

Did you know? A loss of 2% of your body weight in water can decrease sporting performance by 20%!!!

Drink throughout the day: 1 mouthful every 10 minutes

4 - Choose a drink that is suitable for your activity

However intensive it is, water is the key element to consume throughout your activity.

But beyond one hour of exercise, water alone is not enough, it should be combined with carbohydrates to provide energy and sodium to compensate for the losses due to sweat.

Isotonic drinks are therefore ideal for all workouts over 1 hour, as they provide all the elements necessary to cater for athletes' needs. They promote rehydration and provide energy so that your performances will not decrease from start to finish.

Adapt your drink to your workout

5 - Recognise the signs of dehydration

The main symptoms of dehydration are:

  • feeling thirsty,
  • an increased heart rate,
  • a lowered blood pressure,
  • a drop in performance.

Mild dehydration leads to a feeling of fatigue and weariness.

Severe dehydration leads to feeling very thirsty during exercise, heavy, aching legs, getting out of breath, muscle and tendon pain or even sprains etc. Severe dehydration affects the whole body and can require urgent medical attention.

Once one of these symptoms appears, it is already too late to do anything about it, as the stomach cannot absorb liquids quickly enough to deal with dehydration.

Listen to your body

Marie Fauchille
Dietician | Nutritionist
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