The state of hydration during physical activity is vital as water is lost at a greater rate than fluids can be taken in. Because of the unreliability of the thirst mechanism and the importance of replacing lost fluids during exercise, many athletes consume liquids according to a schedule during training in an effort to remain hydrated.
Hydrating the body:
- Drink 500ml to 750ml 2 hours before the activity
- Drink 250ml to 500ml 15 to 20 minutes before the activity
- Drink 125ml to 185ml every 15 minutes during the activity
- Drink 500ml within 2 hours after the activity
- Continue drinking after exercise until urine is clear
Sports drinks containing some sodium and potassium empty at a rate similar to water, while decreasing urine output which enables the body to gain water quickly. Currently, it is thought that re-hydrating with pure water is not always the best choice – it is known to cause bloating and contains no carbohydrates or electrolytes. A drink containing some salt and about 6% carbohydrates is thought to be best for dehydrating during and after intense physical exercise. Isotonic- these drinks are designed to quickly replace fluids which are lost through sweating during intense exercise while also providing a boost in carbohydrates. An isotonic drink contains a concentrated source of carbohydrates, Always test before race day.
“This is my favourite”. Why Coconut water is the best sports drink.
Most sports drinks are loaded with things you DON’T want, like refined sugars, artificial colours, and chemicals, none of which are in natural coconut water.
Coconut water is one of the richest natural sources of electrolytes and can be used to prevent dehydration from strenuous exercise. You lose electrolytes (especially sodium and potassium) when you sweat, which must be replenished with food and water intake. Because coconut water naturally contains so many electrolytes, it’s been called “Nature’s Gatorade.”
Coconut water is a powerhouse of natural electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, and is low in sugar, but pleasantly sweet and can even help balance your blood glucose and insulin levels.
Author: Paula McElligott