It is an obvious fact that we need to stay hydrated. Water is actually one of the most important factors in sports nutrition. Water is a like a lubrication in machines and without enough water, our body could cease to work. Water is needed to move minerals, water soluble vitamins and other nutrients through our body. It is also needed to remove waste products from our cells. It means that we are able to perform at a more optimal level. We need fluid to regulate our internal temperature and this should protect our overall well being and health. In general, we simply can’t live without water. When it comes to sports nutrition, it is better to lack food and essential nutrients than water; especially hours before the match start.
When athletes burn energy in training sessions and competitive matches, their body produces heat and this could affect their body. We should think of our body as a car engine. If the engine becomes too hot, it wouldn’t be able to perform properly. Since athletes are working to enhance their physical characteristics and develop muscles, their body needs enough water to transport enough nutrients. In general, water should help our body to grow and cells can be repaired much more easily. In general, our performance will start to decline when we lose about two percent of our body’s fluid. We can barely moving and it is likely to face heat exhaustion if our body fluid is less than 5 percent. Death through dehydration is more likely to happen if we lose about 10 percent of our body’s fluid.
It is important for us to determine early signs of dehydration and it can often be identified with thirst. If we are thirsty, it indicated that we are losing about one percent of body’s fluid and it is our body’s way of telling us that we need to drink; although we are not yet faced with fatal consequences of dehydration. It is important for athletes to keep fluids moving in their system during intense physical activities. This will allow their body to pump energy to muscle cells. It’s not uncommon for athletes to feel much refreshed and re-energized moments after they drink a half bottle of water to replace the loss of fluids. Many would ask how much water is enough. There’s no real standard, because each of our body is different.
In this case, we should let our body tells us. If we are slightly thirsty, we should drink until we are no longer thirsty and we feel that our belly is half-filled with water. This should allow us to replace the water in our body. Depending on our physical activities, we may need to drink 30 minutes later. With enough water, athletes can fill that heat is released faster and they our body seem to produce more energy. If we experience energy depletion, it means that our body needs more fluid.