Hydration in heat times

Emma Esteba | Neus Vives

19 in July, 2019

Water is one of the basic nutrients for life, and especially in the summer and if we do physical activity, drinking water is indispensable for our health.

Why should we hydrate?

When we do physical exercise with high temperatures our body sua more and we must increase the amount of water we ingest.

Approximately an 60% of our weight is made up of water. Water, apart from participating in all chemical reactions at the molecular level, has many functions: it regulates body temperature, facilitates the transport of nutrients to the body, facilitates the proper functioning of the digestive system, helping to improve the problems of constipation, also facilitates the operation of the excretory apparatus preventing the risk of suffering from kidney stones.

On average, you should drink between 6 and 8 glasses of water a day, which may vary according to what you swiss and if you have any medical contraindication, even if you do not have a thirsty sensation. The need for hydration may vary depending on the duration of the exercise, the intensity, the environmental conditions and the individual characteristics.

A good measure to know your level of hydration is to observe the color of the urine. If you have a darker ring than usual, you should increase the water intake.

The importance of hydration before, during and after training in heat times

During the sport practice the body can lose up to 3 liters of water to be replaced. The joints, the muscular tissues and, above all, the tendons are easier to injure if you do not have a good hydration.

If you already foresee that the exercise will be long or you will have difficulty in ingesting the necessary water, before you start, you have to make a prehydration: drink fresh water until you make the clear urine 4 hours before and drink again in the head about 2 hours.

During the activity, if you can, drink between 100 and 250 ml of water (between half a glass) each 15-30 minutes. And if it lasts for more than an hour, it is advisable to add mineral salts and some energy components or fruit juices to the water.

After the activity, it replenishes liquids immediately. You can calculate what you have lost by looking at weight loss before starting and finishing and multiplying it by 1,5, to know the liters you have to drink. Also advisable to be a drink with carbohydrates and electrolytes to recover minerals and glycogen salts.

The importance of mineral salts

In physical activities of long duration or high intensity, it is not enough to moisturize only with water, often the needs increase and that is why it is necessary to restore electrolytes lost with sweat. A good one isotonic drink (drink with a concentration of sugars and minerals similar to those of the blood) contains water as the first ingredient. In 100 ml of water it is necessary to contain carbohydrates (glucose, sucrose, fructose or maltodextrin) between 4 and 8 grams, sodium, between 45 and 70 mg and between 8 and 20 mg of potassium.

The function of electrolytes is to regulate the balance of the liquids of the organism and therefore, they help to hydrate you better.

A dehydration causes a significant reduction of:

  • Ability to work
  • Fatigue
  • Maximum power
  • Reaction velocity
  • Degree of coordination
  • Thermoregulation
  • Alterations of the cardiovascular system

Hypertonic and / or energy drinks are not recommended, as their concentration is much higher and the organism takes longer to absorb them. A drink that contains caffeine or other stimulants, vitamins and / or sugars can cause unwanted effects, such as diarrhea and an excessive diuretic effect.

An alternative to commercial drinks is make it home with 4 cups of mineral water, & frac14; cup of maple syrup (or other sweetener), & frac14; of spoon of salt and the juice of one or two lemons.

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the authors

Emma Esteba

Nutritionist of the Claror Cartagena

Diploma in Diethics and Human Nutrition (UB), Postgraduate Diploma in Obesity, Postgraduate Diploma in Phytotherapy

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Neus Vives

Head of the Health Department of Claror Cartagena

Medical specialist in Physical Education and Sports Medicine (UB)

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