If you drink when you are thirsty, it’s too late!!! Exercise increases body temperature, which depends on the intensity and duration of activity, environmental conditions, clothing worn and metabolic rate. Learn with us how to hydrate yourself properly and the importance of the most important electrolytes.
The evaporation of sweat is the primary mechanism of heat loss during exercise. Sweat is primarily composed of water and electrolytes such as sodium.
The list of functions that electrolytes control is endless but include: temperature control, fluid level, neurological function, muscle contraction, energy production, glucose metabolism, etc.
Levels of electrolytes in your body can become too low or too high. That can happen when the amount of water in your body changes, causing dehydration or overhydration. Exercise performance is impaired when an individual is dehydrated by as little as 2% of his/her body weight. Dehydration (>3% BW) can degrade aerobic exercise performance, especially in warm or hot weather. At 1.5-2% dehydration, thirst is perceived.
It is important to drink before you feel thirsty and to drink throughout the day.
One way to check your hydration status is to weigh yourself before and after exercise. Comparing your body weight before and after exercise can be used to estimate your sweat loss and your fluid requirements. Another way to check hydration status is the urine color test (the lighter the color, the more hydrated you are).
Before activity, start euhydrated (normal body water content) and with a normal electrolyte level.
Four (4) hours before activity, drink 5-7ml per kilogram of body weight. (70kg=~420ml).
Two (2) hours before activity, drink 3-5ml per kilogram of body weight. (70kg=~280ml).
During activity, prevent excessive dehydration and excessive changes in electrolyte balance to avert compromised performance. Consuming beverages containing electrolytes and carbohydrates can provide more benefits than drinking water alone under certain circumstances. Drink 90 to 120 ml every 15-20 minutes. Do not drink more than 1 liter per hour if it is not the calculated rate you require.
For low intensity exercise or activities less than 60 minutes, drink only water. If you have a correct diet, your body will provide you all need. If your exercise is greater than 60 minutes then you must add electrolytes. After exercise, replace any fluid and electrolyte deficit (by drinking or eating).
Carefully choose your drink, as SOME SPORT DRINKS CAN BE TOO HIGH IN SUGAR AND SODIUM. If you are in a Weight Loss Program ask your nutritionist first. Many companies provide a wide variety of low and no-calorie hydrating beverages. Also, there are several alternatives to commercial brands. You can drink your own homemade sports drink or even coconut water.
Some of the most important electrolytes and their primary functions:
- SODIUM: helps control fluids in the body, impacting blood pressure necessary for muscle and nerve function. Helps balance electrolytes;
- CHLORIDE: helps balance electrolytes, balances acidity and alkalinity – which helps maintain a healthy pH -, essential to digestion;
- POTASSIUM: regulates your heart and blood pressure, helps balance electrolytes, aids in transmitting nerve impulses, contributes to bone health and it’s necessary for muscle contraction;
- MAGNESIUM: important to the production of DNA and RNA, contributes to nerve and muscle function, helps maintain heart rhythm, helps regulate blood glucose levels and enhances your immune system;
- CALCIUM: key component of bones and teeth, important to the movement of nerve impulses and muscle movement, contributes to blood clotting;
- PHOSPHATE: strengthens bones and teeth, helps cells produce the energy needed for tissue growth and repair;
- BICARBONATE: helps your body maintain a healthy pH and regulates heart function.
Once you start training with us, you will have all directions to hydrate yourself well. Being in a tropical country and taking part in our Muay Thai training sessions, Boxing training sessions or, most important, if you take part in our Weight Loss Training Program is probably an experience you never had before, and we will teach you how to face this high impact experience with the best results!