Recently a lot of issues have come up regarding hydration for sports and human performance and it seems a great deal of performers have been ill equipped from this standpoint.

Recent headline news in the UK told of Special Forces Training recruits dying during training exercises where preparation and planning had not been adequately conducted by the training teams.

Also, during the recent Iowa Corn 300 Verizon Indy Car Race (US equivalent of Formula 1 albeit more physically demanding than F1), some of the athletes were found to have been ill prepared for the race distance due to high humidity and heat reference: Infinet Motorsports July 20th on Twitter .

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Hydration & mid-race fade

Hydration & mid-race fade was an issue for many drivers this past weekend due to high humidity and heat. Therefore there is clearly a need to correctly understand how to prepare for high performance activities where the stress of heat and being properly hydrated could become a major issue.

Hydration status

Hydration status refers to body fluid levels. euhydration the normal state of body water content (typically about 40 litres). hypohydration reduced total body water, which may develop by the process of dehydration due to excessive sweating under exercise heat stress.

Athletes may lose 2-6% body weight during prolonged exercise. Hypohydration is detrimental to both exercise performance and health and should be prevented by provision of fluids to match water loss. hyperhydration increased total body water.

It has been proposed that prior hyperhydration may improve thermoregulation during exercise heat stress, but studies have had inconsistent results.

Strategies of hydration

It is important to note that effective strategies of hydration in sport involve not only the inclusion of fluids, but of total dietary regimes related to the environment one is operating in and the extremes of the activity, whether covering a set distance with heavy loads or participation in a sporting event like a boxing match or, as we mentioned, driving a race car for several hours.

So for the general population outdoor exercise hydration is a major factor. Activities such as hiking the Brecon Beacons training area for the British Special Forces, or triathlon/ironman events are major comparable needs to that of the professional high performance person.

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Nutrition and preparation strategies

Let us now look at some real time examples of effective nutrition and preparation strategies. When we talk about hydration needs this conjures up expensive drink concoctions, however most of the correct hydration can be done with a single trip to your local store.

Eat up your water!

What does that mean one would ask? Roughly 20% of all H2O water can come from food sources. Cucumber for instance has a water content of 97% the highest of any solid food. Perfect to ingest as salads or chopped with Hummus. Or a chilled cucumber soup as this could be carried in a water bottle.

Iceberg lettuce has a water content of  95.6%.  It’s the highest water content of any lettuce you can buy so when making sandwiches in the heat or to take on a hike or any outdoor pursuit – take on an iceberg!

Radishes have a water content of  95.3% they are also filled with antioxidant value catechin, which is found in green tea. A perfect addition to healthy summer coleslaw, no mayo required. Slice them up with shredded cabbage and carrots, sliced snow peas and chopped hazelnuts and parsley, then toss with poppy seeds, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Tomatoes have a water content of  94.5% . Use them in your backpack individually for a fast hydrating snack and as a major inclusion in your sandwich box on a long hike.

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Watermelon,  as the name suggests, has a high water content of 92% . Also among the richest sources of lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant found in red fruits and vegetables.

In fact watermelon contains more lycopene than raw tomatoes—about 12 milligrams per wedge, versus 3 milligrams per medium-sized tomato. Although this melon is plenty hydrating on its own, mix it with water in the summertime. Keep a water pitcher in the fridge with watermelon cubes in the bottom, provides great incentive to drink more water overall, especially to encourage Kids to drink more water.

There are plenty more foods you can pack in a rucksack for a hike this summer to get your exercise outside in the beautiful British summer countryside.

So there is a need to read on from this brief article covering just some of the cost effective ways you can hydrate and without a need to rely on expensive hydration drinks, often sugar filled. But most importantly for both athlete and general exerciser ‘drink your water’ Dr Philip Goglia PhD.

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