How Does Dehydration Affects Training and Performance?
I’m sure you have heard that you need to stay hydrated while training, but have you ever stopped to wonder why?
Hydration has a direct impact on your ability to train effectively. When we get dehydrated our blood thickens, our body temperature increases and our performance during training starts to plummet – not ideal!
People seem to think that staying hydrated means they simply drink more water, but the thing is there is a big difference between drinking water and actually absorbing water (hydrating). This is because water alone lacks electrolytes.
So what are electrolytes?
Put simply they are salts dissolved in water that help regulate body function. The most important ones to know about relating to exercise you have probably heard of: sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
• Sodium maintains fluid balance, which means it ensures the right amount of fluid is present inside and outside your cells. This might not sound like much but trust me it is important! Without sodium your cells would shrivel up and die. Sodium also plays a role in nerve function and muscle contractions.
• Potassium, in partnership with sodium, prevents muscle cramping. Potassium and sodium work together, so they both need to be replenished to maintain function.
• Calcium is important for muscle contractions – skeletal muscle during exercise, smooth muscle such as that in your digestive tract, and for your heart muscle.
• Magnesium is the partner electrolyte to calcium. It is involved in relaxing muscles and must be maintained at the same ratio as calcium.
Electrolytes get depleted when we train, sweat and urinate. Not replenishing your electrolytes will affect performance, make us lethargic, nauseous and also cause muscle cramps.
Try adding some electrolytes to your water before and during your working to help keep your training optimal!