Hydration is the key to many athletes success in the sports world today. Not being hydrated while playing sports can lead to a lack of performance, muscle cramps, and exhaustion. Water is the most abundant component of the body. Human’s blood, kidneys, heart and lungs are made of 80% or more water, and muscle, spleen, brain, intestines, and skin is 72 – 75% water. Staying hydrated might be the most important way to stay healthy and keep your body clean. Proper hydration is important during exercise. Adequate fluid intake for athletes, even the recreational kind, is essential to comfort, performance and safety. The longer and more intensely you exercise, the more important it is to drink the right kind of fluids. Studies have found that a loss of two or more percent of one’s body weight due to sweating is linked to a drop in blood volume. When this occurs, the heart works harder in order to move blood through the bloodstream. Sports drinks can be helpful to athletes who are exercising at a high intensity for 60 minutes or more. Fluids supplying 60 to 100 calories per 8 ounces helps to supply the needed calories required for continuous performance. It’s really not necessary to replace losses of sodium, potassium and other electrolytes during exercise since you’re unlikely to deplete your body’s stores of these minerals during normal training. If, however, you find yourself exercising in extreme conditions over 3 or 5 hours you will need to add a complex sports drink with electrolytes. Athletes who don’t consume electrolytes under these conditions risk over hydration.

Ryan Williams

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