An excessive loss of fluid (Dehydration) impairs performance and has adverse effects on overall health as blood volume decreases and body temperature rises which places extra demand on heart, lungs and the circulatory system. This simply means that the heart has to work much harder to pump blood around the body. This extra strain on the body and organ reserve means your body is working harder to maintain normal function and therefore performance drops, as does the ability to recover adequately. It therefore takes longer to get back to your pre exercise state. This in turn will not only effect that workout but your upcoming session as your cells rely on water for proper metabolism, dehydration can severely inhibit and slow down the recovery process.
A certain level of dehydrated is inevitable during intense physical activity or extended endurance type activity, but excessive dehydration will;
At a loss of just 2% will affect you ability to exercise and your maximal aerobic capacity may fall by 10-20%.
At 5% aerobic capacity it will decrease by 30% and may cause dizziness
At an 8% drop may cause dizziness and laboured breathing and then the inevitable bonk/wall.
So with this said, it’s easy to see what the benefits and potential gains are to the athlete in maintaining an optimum state of hydration
Assessing an individual’s specific water and electrolyte loss with science.
Sweat rates and electrolyte losses vary dramatically between individuals, (up to 15 fold in fact). So there really is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to hydration for athletes and sports people. Ironically the more dehydrated you are the less your body is able to sweat due to smaller blood volume due to excessive loss of fluid. Blood flow to the skin is reduced causing a rise in body temperature.
But forcing down large amounts of fluid even if you really don’t feel like it is not going to help and it can even be dangerous.
What we advise following training and expert advise Ironman George Sherwood and testing one of our nutritionists here at FX
You must firstly have a standard level of hydration on an average day and adapt this on training and non-training days, in hot and cold temperatures. If you, like me are an athlete or individual that struggles to stay hydrated even while drinking lots of H20 or you find that you need to urinate quite quickly after consumption of water (Bring the hormone cortisol down & don’t sweat the small stuff, excuse the pun.) then begin to understand you body a little better and identify what activities dehydrate you and be better prepared.
The simple model I use for my athletes or weight loss clients looking to improve lean body mass who have a problem with chronic sub optimum hydration levels (Whereby body fat is just stuck) is to go and have a one off advanced sweat test and find out what exact electrolytes you lose.
You can also go on-line and do a free sweat test and it will tell you exactly what type and strength of electrolyte you may benefit from. Once you have a better idea of needs and you see hydration levels come up you can apply the following principal.
On non training days add Himalayan pink salt (1/4 teaspoon to 1.5 lts of H20 As long as you don’t have excessively high blood pressure) to your water and on training days or hot weather I recommend “Precision Hydration” electrolyte as the science stacks up for me and I like the whole reporting structure and the more targeted and individualised approach to hydrating to optimal levels. This I have done myself as anything I recommend I will have done and the science will be there.
As always the better you understand your body and biochemistry the better your performances are going to be.
I got immediate and noticeable improvements in concentration levels which led to better decision making with no more drops in performance due to dehydration. Cramping was a thing of the past and more than anything precision hydration just ticked the hydration box to let me look to other areas for gains and improvements to my Ironman performances. This is why I began to look at testing myself!!
George Sherwood Ironman – After the 70.3 Ironman World Championships Chattanooga Tennessee USA 2017
Himalayan Pink Salt
Fee Sweat Test (less accurate but useful)
Full sweat Test Analysis – Call George Sherwood (Pictured Here) 086 2585895 and reff this article for discount