Hydration is a crucial factor in optimizing athletic performance and overall well-being. During exercise, our bodies lose fluids through sweat, leading to dehydration if not adequately replenished. Proper hydration is essential for maintaining optimal body temperature, supporting cardiovascular function, and ensuring efficient nutrient transport to muscles. Staying hydrated also aids in reducing the risk of muscle cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, which can be detrimental to an athlete's performance and health. Moreover, dehydration can negatively impact cognitive function and decision-making abilities, impairing an athlete's performance on the field or court.
Excretion of fluids and metabolic by-products are mainly managed by the kidneys. A well hydrated athlete is referred to as being euhydrated and those with below-normal body water levels are referred to as hypohydrated or, if severe, dehydrated. We all know that water is a huge component of what makes up the human body, but where is all the water going?
Here is a high level overview of where water is stored and utilized in the body:
- 57 % of an average person’s total body weight is from water.
- 65% of whatever is intracellular
- 35% of total body water is extracellular
- Well-hydrated muscles are about 75% water.
- Bones are about 32% water
- Fat is essentially anhydrous, having only about 10% water content.
- Blood is about 93% water.
- Average males are about 60% water weight.
- Average females are about 50% water weight
- Obese individuals are about 40% water weight
- Athletes are about 70% water weight.
Micronutrients play a crucial role in maintaining healthy kidney function and performance of a well-hydrated athlete's body. These essential vitamins and minerals are required in small quantities but have significant impacts on various physiological processes. Micronutrients such as electrolytes including potassium, magnesium, and calcium are critical in fluid balance and hydration. Other vitamins and minerals include Vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C, D, Iron, Zinc, and Selenium.
For well-hydrated athletes, ensuring an adequate intake of these micronutrients through a balanced diet and, if necessary, supplementation, can have a significant impact on their performance, recovery, and overall health. It's essential for athletes to work with registered dietitians or sports nutritionists to tailor their nutrition plans to their specific needs and goals.
Body Size Hydration:
It is crucial to tailor hydration plans to individual needs, considering factors such as body size, exercise intensity and duration, climate, and personal sweat rate. By implementing an effective hydration strategy, using supplementation when needed, athletes can optimize their physical performance, enhance endurance, and reduce the risk of dehydration-related complications, ultimately contributing to better overall athletic success.
The "Galpin Equation" is a formula that provides an estimate of an individual's sweat rate, allowing athletes to understand how much fluid they need to consume to maintain hydration during exercise. The equation is named after Dr. Andrew Galpin, a sports scientist, and researcher. It takes into account factors such as body weight, exercise intensity, and environmental conditions to calculate the rate of fluid loss through sweat. By knowing their sweat rate, athletes can develop personalized hydration strategies to optimize performance and reduce the risk of dehydration. This may involve drinking a specific volume of fluids before, during, and after exercise to match their fluid losses accurately.
The “Galpin Equation” is as follows; take your bodyweight in lbs. (if KGS, multiple by 2.2), Divided by 30. = The amount of water in oz. you should be consuming every 15 minutes of exercise or during an athletic event.