Hydrating, How to Optimize your Hydration and Performance

Posted: Tuesday, 4 December 2012 by Strength&Nutrition24/7 in Labels:

Many organisations and textbooks have suggested standard fluid replacement guidelines. However, with the numerable variables (environmental conditions, intensity level, duration, rest periods, the amount of clothing worn, and the goal of the session, practice, competitive event, physical fitness level, individual sweat rate, and etc), research and clinical trials have demonstrated that these standards or drinking by thirst are not adequate and hydration should be individualized. It is important that we incorporate the latest research in tandem with our knowledge of our athletes to ensure the best evidence based clinical practice when it comes to hydration for our athletes and ourselves.

Research on the effects dehydration has had on physical and psychological performance has been controversial. There has been a great deal of disagreement amongst research which has been mainly attributed to different environmental conditions. However, the overall consensus is that as little as 1% dehydration has an effect on heart rate, body temperature, recovery rate and physical and psychological performance.

The amount of fluid that should be ingested prior, during, and post exercise has been incredibly debated and justifiably so. The reasons that these great debates have occurred are for two reasons. First, we must consider fluid intake in response to injury or death prevention from inappropriate amounts of fluid. Second, we must prevent the decrease in athletic performance due to dehydration.

When should someone hydrate with a sports drink or water? In general, you will only need water for hydration unless one of the following is met: you are exercising intensely for >1 hour, you are doing moderate to intense exercise for several hours, or are a salty sweater. Salty sweaters can be determined by looking at your clothing and skin for salt residue post exercise. It may also be identified by regular cramping.
The simplest way of figuring out the hydrations of individuals can be done by calculating sweat rate. Sweat rate should be calculated by the individual in competition and training. It is important to calculate for different scenarios since ones sweat rate will be different based on temperature, equipment, intensity, and their genetics. The most accurate way to do so is by measuring body weight prior and post training. One should also make note of the amount of fluids consumed over the course of the training session. The formula is pre training weight(kg) – post training weight (kg)=C   (C*1000)+total fluid consumed (ml) = sweat rate (mL/Time).

Hydration is very important for physical and psychological performance. Most athletes are miss informed on what and how much fluid they need. This leaves the coaches and trainers with the responsibility to provide the athletes with the proper information. In order to maximize each individual’s performance, we need to remember people are genetically different and participate in many different environments. Therefore, it is best to provide individualized hydration protocols.


  1. Diana says:

    Body's Hydration is very crucial for all people, this is a main key to maximize a persons energy level to continuously function. It is also crucial for our body to maintain our immune system by avoiding any symptoms of zinc deficiency which affects absorption of nutrients in our body.

  1. water is much needed a part

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