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Hydration and Fluid Replacement
Fluid in take is the most important nutritional factor during competition . Dehydration is a concern during any physical activity. Athletes should aim to drink regularly rather then wait until they become thirsty as thirst is often a poor indicator of hydration.
Fluid requirements vary remarkably between athletes and between exercise situations. Fluid losses and the onset of dehydration are affected by:
Genetics - some people innately sweat more than others
Body Size - larger athletes tend to sweat more than smaller athletes
Fitness - fitter people sweat earlier in exercise and in larger volumes
Environment - sweat losses are higher in hot, humid conditions
Exercise Intensity - sweat losses increase as exercise intensity increases
Generally athletes should aim to drink 150- 250mls of water every 15 minutes
General Fluid Replacement Guidelines
Immediately, before exercise commences, consume 200-600 ml of fluid.
Develop a plan for fluid intake for all exercise sessions longer than 30 minutes. Aim to match previous fluid losses as closely as possible (within 1% of body mass). Take into account all the opportunities within the sport.
Begin drinking early in the exercise session and continue to drink small amounts regularly. Sports drink or water are the best options.
Aim to replace fluids as they are lost
General Fluid Replacement Guidelines cont.
Drink plenty of water after exercise, past the point of quenching your thirst
Avoid drinking tea, coffee, cola drinks and alcohol after training or games
Glucose are not recommended as they can speed up the onset of dehydration
Sports drinks should only be taken in small amounts before a sport to prevent the early use of glycogen stores