Thursday, November 16, 2017

Sports Hydration: Why Water Isn't Enough

"Nutrition and hydration are critical to performing your best. As the temperature cools, athletes sometimes forget the importance of hydration, and it's not just about water. Read on to learn about the importance of hydrating with the right amount of water and electrolytes." Jennifer Sommer-Dirks, MS, RD, CSSD
Peaks Coaching Group Nutritionist

By Skratch Labs:

Your body is made up of 60-75% water and when you sweat, you begin to lose water quickly. To avoid cramping, nausea, confusion, cutting your workout early, or a DNF at your next race, you can’t just replace the water you lost. Replacing the sodium is critical to rehydrating successfully.

What is sweat?

Sweat isn’t just water; it’s made up of electrolytes, especially sodium, which makes up about 90% of the electrolytes you lose in sweat. Of the electrolytes you lose in sweat, sodium plays the most important role in helping your body perform.

What happens when you’re thirsty?
As you sweat and lose more water than sodium, the sodium concentration in your blood increases and you begin to feel thirsty. 
You stop feeling thirsty when you consume enough water to bring the sodium concentration in your blood back down. Sometimes that means increasing the amount of sodium you consume and not relying on water alone. 

What is sweat made of (and how do I know how much sodium is in my sweat)?

Most people lose about a liter-sized Nalgene amount of sweat in 1-2 hours of endurance exercise. On average, people lose 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of sodium per liter (or Nalgene bottle) of sweat.

One way to guesstimate your sodium is to weigh yourself before and after exercise. If you lost 3% of your body weight during exercise, you likely need more sodium. Keep in mind this calculation includes consuming your normal amount of fluids during exercise. 

Read More at Skratch Labs