Hydration is one of the most important nutritional concerns for an athlete. Approximately 60 percent of body weight is water. As an athlete trains or competes, fluid is lost through the skin through sweat and the lungs while breathing. If this fluid is not replaced at regular intervals during practice or competition, it can lead to dehydration. A dehydrated athlete has a decreased volume of blood circulating through the body, and consequently:
-The amount of blood pumped with each heartbeat decreases
-Exercising muscles do not receive enough oxygen
-Exhaustion sets in and the athlete’s performance suffers
-By-products of exercise are not flushed out of the body as regularly as they should be
Research has shown that losing as little as 2% of total body weight can negatively affect athletic performance. For example, if a 150-pound athlete loses 3 pounds during a workout or competition, their ability to perform at peak performance due to dehydration is reduced. Proper fluid replenishment is the key to preventing dehydration and reducing the risk of heat illness in athletes engaged in training and competition.
You can find more information about sports and hydration at:
Blog information by: Shawn Arnett MEd, ATC at Daniel High School