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Why Drinking More Water is Important for Athletic Performance

Posted on July 16, 2018

A key component to good personal health is a well hydrated body. Although this is important for everyone, it is critically essential for athletes. That doesn’t just mean the Usain Bolts of the world, it also means the mother who likes to grab an early morning class at the gym, the 11-year-old soccer goalie who plays in the summer heat, the former college athlete who still enjoys a basketball pickup game, and everyone else in between. Having the right amount of water in your system at all times means being hydrated before and after an exercising session as well as during the activity.

Not being well hydrated results in a loss of performance. Performance declines with as little as a two to three percent decrease in body weight from water loss (sweat.) The results of this on an active person can include increased core temperature, increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, headache, and muscle cramps.

According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, water is the key. The NATA states that dehydration can compromise athletic performance and increase the risk of exertional heat injury. Heat injury may have serious consequences for an athlete that goes well beyond performance degradation. The Mayo Clinic warns when it's hot and humid, your risk of dehydration and heat illness increases. The humid air makes it difficult for sweat to evaporate and cool your skin. This can lead to an increased body temperature and the need for more fluids. For strenuous exercise it's best to start hydrating the day before and then continue to hydrate during the activity, by replenishing with water at regular intervals and then continue drinking water after you're finished.

Being well hydrated will help you excel at your peak performance. The benefits of balanced hydration include regulation of body temperature, regulation of blood pressure which supports a normalized heart rate, and the support of the movement of essential energy nutrients.

The NATA recommends 17 to 20 ounces of water or a sports drink two to three hours before exercise and 7 to 10 ounces of water or a sports drink about 10 to 20 minutes before exercise to ensure hydration. In order to maintain hydration status during exercise, an athlete should replenish lost fluids by drinking about 8 ounces of water or a sports drink about every 15 minutes. Fluid replacement after exercise should consist of replacing lost fluids based on need.

Electrolyte replacement is a key component to hydration and can reduce the risk of fluid-electrolyte imbalances such as hyponatremia (dangerously low blood sodium level), which can occur after long and intense exercise when a high level of sweating has also occurred and large volumes of plain water are consumed. The NCAA (National College Athletic Association) says athletes that will benefit most from a sports drink are those intensely exercising for longer than 60 minutes. Sports drinks are designed to rehydrate, provide energy and replenish the body’s electrolytes, especially sodium, which is lost through sweating. According to the NCAA, during prolonged, intense exercise, it is important to replace the fluid and minerals lost in sweat. The appropriate amount for rehydration will depend on factors such as the level and duration of exertion.

We understand that keeping yourself hydrated is not a simple task, as water is … well, simply not always delicious. If only there was a solution… Oh wait, try Cirkul’s electrolyte flavors! The product supplies your water with additional electrolytes and gives you the desired flavor of Mixed Berry, Orange Tangerine or Lemon Lime. The cost effective, eco-friendly bottles are exactly the thing you need to enhance your workout routine and reach that new level of performance.