Hydration: 5 Often Asked Questions Answered

Hydration: 5 Often Asked Questions Answered for Aerial Athletes

Proper hydration is essential for maintaining optimal health and well-being. However, there are often questions and misconceptions surrounding this topic. In this article, we address five frequently asked questions about hydration to help you understand its importance and make informed choices for your fluid intake.

One question that we all ask ourselves, especially those who exercise, is the following:

-Am I hydrated enough?

The effects of hydration on athletic performance have been widely studied and today it has been well-documented that, even mild dehydration can have a negative effect on the athlete’s efforts.

Hydration: The 5 most often asked questions

In more serious cases of dehydration, not only is the athlete’s performance negatively influenced, but his health might even be endangered.

1. In which sports are more probable to meet dehydrated athletes?

Aerial sports, such as pole dancing, require careful attention to hydration due to the significant fluid loss through sweating during prolonged activities. Athletes participating in endurance sports like long-distance running, cycling, dance, and martial arts are particularly susceptible to dehydration. However, it is important to note that athletes engaging in resistance training can also enhance their performance by maintaining proper hydration.

Individuals involved in aerial sports or pole dancing may have varying fluid requirements depending on the intensity and duration of their training sessions. Monitoring urine colour can provide valuable insights into hydration levels. If you observe darker urine before or after a game or training session, it likely indicates inadequate hydration.

Especially on hot days, athletes are more prone to dehydration, and thus, it becomes crucial to prioritize a well-defined hydration protocol to prevent any adverse effects.

2. How can I estimate my need for fluids during training?

A good way to estimate the needs of your body in fluids, during training, is to get your weight on a precision scale before and after a typical workout session. The lost weight will represent the amount of fluids lost in sweat. By adding to this number, the fluids consumed during training, you can get a realistic aspect of your true needs.

3. What should I do in order to stay well hydrated during a training/game?

In general, lines, after you have calculated the number of fluids lost during training, you must concentrate on getting back the equivalent amount of water. This should occur in small doses, in small time periods, to avoid any gastrointestinal discomfort. Avoid consuming over 200 ml of water (6-7 sips) for every 10 minutes., unless, based on your personal needs, is necessary, something that is not likely for people into aerial acrobatics. Another good practice, especially if you belong to the category of individuals who sweat easily, is to start your workout, hyperhydrated. Even consuming 200-300 ml of water shortly before exercise, delays the initiation of dehydration.

4. Is water enough or do I also need electrolytes or/and carbohydrates?

When we refer to electrolytes, we mainly think of sodium and potassium, two compounds found in large amounts in our bodies. Although it is very popular among athletes to dilute tablets of electrolytes in their water, the bibliography shows that this is rarely needed. The body has its own mechanisms to keep electrolyte concentrations normal, even in cases of excessive sweating, while lost electrolytes can get replaced after training with diet. During prolonged and very intense exercise (f.ex. ultramarathon runners) hyponatremia might be observed and in this case, electrolytes must be replaced while the athlete is in the race. If however, you are planning to get electrolytes, keep in mind that supplements containing 400-1000 mg of sodium/L and 120-220mg of potassium/L can satisfyingly cover you.

Carbohydrates constitute the main source of energy during exercise and prolonged workouts, where glycogen storages in the body significantly decrease. An ongoing intake can boost athletic performance. Usually, we need to add carbohydrates, when exercise is intense and lasts over one hour. Finally, you should make sure that sugar concentration does not go over 10%, as this can lead to an upset stomach.

5. So, what should I choose? Water, Juices or Sports drinks?

In cases in which exercise lasts less than an hour usually water is enough to cover the amount of fluids lost in sweat. In cases of intense and prolonged exercise, sports beverages containing 10% carbohydrates can replace water and in addition, provide you with all the electrolytes needed. Juices can also be used during exercise to maintain hydration, however, try to dilute them with water, so as to contain a relatively low amount of sugar and to avoid gastrointestinal problems. Drinking juices is more useful after the completion of exercise (no fear of stomach getting upset) for immediate replacement of glycogen storage until we have our post-training meal.

By addressing common questions about hydration, we hope to provide clarity and promote healthy habits when it comes to fluid balance. Remember, staying adequately hydrated is crucial for overall health and performance, so pay attention to your body’s signals and make hydration a priority in your daily routine.

About the author

Gerasimos Klaoudatos

Claudatos Gerasimos was born in 1987 in Patras and studied at the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Science at Harokopio University of Athens, from where he graduated in 2009. He continued his studies at the postgraduate level in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Patras, specializing in the field of Biochemistry and Applied Biotechnology.

He has attended the most significant conferences in his field and is frequently invited to speak at events held in his city.

In the past, he has worked in gyms as well as in the health department of the Municipality of Patras. He is particularly interested in sports nutrition, and in 2011, he volunteered at the Special Olympics held in Athens. He loves traveling, and in recent years, he has been engaging in powerlifting as a hobby.

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