Hydration and performance in hot weather

By Marion Rouxel, Dietician nutritionist

During training, as when participating in a race, hydration is a determining factor in managing your effort well. Often neglected, it can be the cause of muscle pains, a decrease in alertness and in your muscle strength..or even heat stroke.

Follow the advice of our dietician so that you won’t neglect this crucial element in your performance.

What are the main risks linked to bad hydration during an effort ?

If you feel thirsty…it’s too late, you’re already dehydrated ! And yet dehydration can be detrimental to a sportsperson’s performance (an increase in body temperature, a decrease in physical ability and alertness…) andit is difficult to get over.

How much water does the body lose during a physical activity on a very hot day ?

A sportsperson who does intensive exercise in very hot weather can lose more than 2 litres per hour. Dehydration quickly sets in if water loss is not made up for. A loss of 2% of your bodyweight generally results in a decrease of 20% of your performance*. For example, a runner who weighs 70kg and who has lost 1.5L of water during their effort (meaning 2% of their bodyweight in water), can see a drop in their performance of 20%.

Does doing a sport in hot weather change your way of drinking ?

Whatever the weather conditions, it’s essential to drink right from the start of an effort without waiting to feel thirsty. Drinking regularly is crucial when it's hot. You should drink little (5cl) but very often (5 min). And you should also remember to cool your body down by splashing yourself with the water provided at the food stations so as to avoid problems such asheat stroke.

Water or an energy drink : which to choose for optimum hydration ?

Each physical activity requires fuel, mainly in the form of carbohydrates,in order to avoid the risk of hypoglycemia. As water doesn't provide energy, it should remain exceptional during your effort and should be supplemented by an OVERSTIM.s gel, eaten at the same time, which will provide energy. An energy drink is therefore ideal as it guarantees an energy intake which is adapted to your effort . It also provides the vitamins and minerals whichmake up for sweat loss. Keep your water to splash yourself with when it's hot.

What should be in the ingredients of the drink ?

The ingredients included should provide energy which is appropriate to performance and endurance (adapted carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals) to answer the sportsperson’s needs. The drink should beisotonic, not too sweet and acid free in order to be well assimilated… And HYDRIXIR can answer these needs.

Why drink right from the start of the effort ?

It’s recommended to drink before you feel thirsty. Drinking right from the start is essential :

  • - To prevent dehydration
  • - To maintain a stableblood sugar level so as to ensure your energy requirements throughout your effort and maintain glycogen stores in the muscles
  • - To make up for vitamin and mineral losses

How much should you drink ?

The greater the volume of liquid absorbed at one time, the longer it will take for the stomach to empty and hence rehydration is less effective. Drink a mouthful (or a maximum of two) each time (5 to 10cl) for effective assimilation.

*dehydration repercussion in muscular efficiency Work from L. HERMANSEN et alia

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