|ATHLETES WHO THINK KNOW WHAT TO DRINK
|Its a known fact that a well-hydrated athlete always
functions at a higher level than one who exercises in a dehydrated state. According to the
textbook, Exercise Physiology, when were dehydrated by 4.3%, our performance
is reduced by 22%.
When exercising for one hour, you can lose a quart of water.
Each one pound weight loss during exercise represents 15 fluid ounces of dehydration.
Marathoners have been known to lose more than 5 liters of fluid during a single race and
football players who do not replace their fluid losses may lose 15 to 20 pounds during the
course of a two-a-day practice session.
What are the effects of dehydration? For one, it increases muscle glycogen use, which
leads to premature fatigue. A three-to-five percent drop of water in the body can cause
lightheadedness, headaches, dizziness and nausea. A seven percent drop can cause
hallucinations and worse. Dehydration also raises the body's core temperature, which can
lead to heat stroke and in extreme cases, even death.
The solution, of course, is to drink plenty of water. Keep in mind that voluntary
drinking only replaces about two-thirds of the body water lost as sweat. Thats
because thirst is an imprecise indicator of dehydration. By the time you are thirsty you
are already dehydrated.
"I recommend that my patients drink water instead of other
liquids, especially drinks with caffeine and sugar-laden juices."
If you are an active adult and exercise regularly, you should be drinking two-thirds of
an ounce of water daily for every pound of body weight. If you plan to engage in prolonged
and strenuous exercise, you should drink 17 ounces of water two hours before exercise to
allow time for adequate hydration and excretion of excess water. While exercising
vigorously, you should be drinking 5-12 ounces of water every 15 minutes to match sweat
loss. After all, sweat is 90-99% water.
I recommend that my patients drink water instead of other liquids, especially drinks
with caffeine and sugar-laden juices. Although sports drinks can be useful for prolonged
and strenuous activities, the American College of Sports Medicine contends that for normal
exercise (lasting less than one hour in duration), there is little evidence of
physiological or physical performance differences between consuming a
carbohydrate-electrolyte drink and plain water.
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Copyright © 1997 Center for Holistic Instruction, PLLC. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 31, 2015.