When it comes to exercise, especially in summer, hydration plays an essential role in performance, both for injury prevention and recovery for athletes who are used to high-intensity exercise. It is therefore very important to understand the imperative need to hydrate to prevent illness and improve sporting performance in general. How can we hydrate correctly, step by step?
Why is hydration important and what is it for?
Intense physical activity or regular sporting activity causes the body to lose water and electrolytes through sweat, so it is essential to promote balance in the body to avoid not only poor performance but also other major problems such as dizziness or spasms.
The human body contains more than 60% water and, when we experience a deficiency, we can become dehydrated, resulting in a significant drop in a person’s physical and mental performance. Furthermore, all our body tissues, organs and cells are composed of water, so good hydration in sports and in general implies the correct functioning of our body’s physiological processes.
Good hydration during sports helps to improve performance and detoxify the body, and this is the main basis for understanding why it is crucial to hydrate before, during and after sports training.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine (NIH), called ‘Hydration to maximise performance’, conducted a maxi survey among athletes from various disciplines and up to 97% of respondents said they knew that dehydration decreases performance.
However, emphasis was also placed on the different fluid needs of each participant, as they vary according to the diverse nature of the exercises, training programmes and individual differences between the athletes themselves, body size, exercise intensity, exercise duration, environment and even choice of clothing.
Post-sport drinks for good hydration
So-called sports drinks are especially composed of fluids, electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium), glucose and carbohydrates that are lost during intense exercise, as well as to improve concentration, endurance and sports performance. It is important not to confuse them with other drinks, which, although they are refreshing liquids and contain vitamin B, are more like energy drinks and are not specifically indicated for rehydration. Therefore, if you choose not to drink more commercial drinks such as Gatorade or Powerade, make sure they at least contain electrolytes and have zero alcohol in them.
On the other hand, hypertonic and creatine drinks are also very good for hydration in sports. And in the case of very intense exercise, the intake of drinks with branched amino acids and protein hydrolysates.
According to another scientific paper published by experts from the Harvard University Health Department, sports drinks contain various carbohydrates in the form of sugar (e.g. high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose or glucose), while others contain no sugar, but are flavoured and contain some low-calorie sweeteners.
In short, according to this report, sports drinks contain a specific amount of electrolytes and sugar and are intended to absorb and rehydrate the body very quickly.
Sports hydration step by step
Before moderate training, the intake of energy fluids containing caffeine is considered, as they help to improve alertness, energy level and overall sports performance.
It is recommended to drink 1.5 times the total body weight lost, and should always contain sodium to promote fluid retention. It is important to bear in mind that sports drinks contain a high percentage of sugar, so if you are not an athlete, nor do you often do very intense exercise, it is best to drink water.
However, as mentioned above, sports drinks are indicated for athletes or practitioners whose level of sporting intensity is high. After training, the body will need carbohydrates and protein, and milk, in this case, is a natural source of protein, sodium and carbohydrates that is very appropriate for hydration and glycogen replenishment. If sweating has been excessive in hot weather, it is best to include drinks with extra sodium both before and after training.
In short, the inclusion of liquids, both during and after intense exercise, is essential for the body and health in general. Water, as well as other drinks and supplements based on organic silica such as the sports supplement based on Silica with Zinc and Glycine, Orgono G7 Sport, specially formulated for athletes, and with reinforcement of muscle, bone and cartilage tissue, hydrates and maintains the correct functioning of the heart, muscles and brain, and regulates body temperature.
All this, together with the regular practice of healthy habits and following a diet of foods suitable for sport, will improve endurance, concentration and high performance in sports exercises.