Hydration is a term relating to the state of the body’s water content. In simple terms, how much water the body contains at a certain time. This can have a huge impact on performance and health. Part of being a Leading Personal Trainer in Richmond, London, is to provide nutritional assistance. The following 2 part blog will hopefully highlight it’s importance.
Dehydration or hypodration is when a person’s fluid loss exceeds their fluid intake. This may occur by failing to replace fluid lost in exercise. If you are thirsty then you are already experiencing the early effects of dehydration. Other symptoms include dizziness, headaches and nausea, due to a decrease in blood and oxygen being supplied to the brain. This happens because the body is supplying more blood to other parts of the body, in an attempt to maintain hydration.
You may also suffer from a dry/sticky mouth, poor concentration, loss of appetite and a rapid heart rate, which coincides with the process of pumping more blood around the body.
Dehydration will massively impact your performance. A loss in the volume of plasma leads to decreased blood flow and a decreased ability to sweat. As a result, the body’s temperature begins to rise and cardiac output decreases. In turn, the circulatory system (heart, lungs and blood vessels) have to work harder, causing fatigue.
This is when an athlete drinks extra water before exercise in order to increase the body’s total water content. The idea of this, is to increase the blood volume to prevent a rise in body temperature and any negative effects of dehydration.
However, hyperhydration can’t be achieved solely by consuming large amounts of water. The extra fluid will simply pass through the body at a greater rate and lead to increased in trips to the toilet! To maximise fluid intake, try adding Glycerol. Glycerol will essentially drag the water into the cellular fluid, increasing the total amount of body fluid. For optimum affect you try adding 1g of glycerol for every kg of your body weight, to 21ml of water for every kg of your body weight 2 hours prior to exercise.
Research has shown that hyperhydrating 2 hours before exercise can help retain an extra 600ml of fluid and improve you performance. One recorded athlete hyperhydrated 2 hours before exercise and reduced their cycling time trial by 2.4%. This shows a positive correlation between hyperhydration and increased performance. It is believed the increase in fluid volume aids the body’s ability to maintain internal temperature, as well as supplying adequate oxygen to the muscles and other organs that required it.
However there have been reports of negative effects from hyperhydrating, these include getting stomach upsets and headaches. The pain and irritation will most likely decrease performance.