HYDRATION AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

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Dehydration and the Toll it takes on Your Body

Many athletes, including a large number of the finest Motocross riders, often experience dehydration on a regular basis and frequently fall victim to the consequences.ÿ Whether you’re out racing or just riding for fun, it has been proven that vigorous physical activity, especially in a warm environment is one of the greatest physiological stresses the human body can encounter.ÿ In fact, the competition between muscle and skin for a limited blood supply can quickly overwhelm the body’s cardiovascular capacity to endure.

In other words, a well-hydrated athlete functions at a higher level than a dehydrated one.ÿ In fact, if a rider is dehydrated by just 4.3%, their performance could drop by as much as 22%.ÿ Further more, dehydration increases muscle glycogen use, which can often times lead to premature fatigue.ÿ It can also cause lightheadedness, headaches, dizziness, nausea and in extreme cases, even death.ÿÿÿ

According to the National Athletic Trainer’s Association, “The onset of significant dehydration is preventable, or at least modifiable, when hydration protocols are followed to ensure all athletes the most productive and safest athletic experience.”ÿ In order for a rider to successfully train, compete, and recover, hydration status plays a critical role in this process.ÿ Many riders today are often failing to replace the body fluids that are lost through sweat while pushing their bodies to the extreme limit.ÿ

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Are Riders Staying Hydrated?

ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Even the most knowledgeable, well-intentioned, prepared rider will often become dehydrated because they often underestimate their sweat loss and will therefore deprive their bodies of the needed liquids to rehydrate.ÿ Significant dehydration can then occur quite rapidly in many fit athletes.ÿ Even though there are no immediate signs that dehydration is occurring, most riders are unaware of the subtle effects of it since they are extremely accustomed to them.ÿÿ

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Sodium as an Added Benefit

ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Not too much, not too little.ÿ That’s the key when thinking about the content of sodium in any type of sports drink.ÿ Research has proven that definite amounts of sodium added to flavored sports drinks will increase voluntary drinking and will significantly help in preventing dehydration.ÿ The added sodium in a beverage helps maintain the physiological drive to drink, stimulating greater voluntary fluid intake.ÿ It also stimulates the rate and completeness of rehydration.ÿ So, next time you reach for a flavored sports drink, make sure there is a small amount of sodium in it as it will prove to be the most beneficial to your body.ÿ

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Tips for Adequate Hydration

ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ One of the most important facets to remember in keeping yourself hydrated is to consume sufficient liquids at regular intervals.ÿ Even though many athletes’ bodies are different and will need different amounts of liquids in order to keep their bodies running at capacity, experience is a major factor in figuring out what is best for you.ÿ For example, varying circumstances of exercise and environment can all play a role in determining how much fluid you will need to refuel.ÿÿ

ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Below are some tips on how to properly keep yourself hydrated and some recommended drinks to utilize.

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Hydration Hints

1. Voluntarily refuel your body

Many people, including athletes, only fill up when they are thirsty.ÿ However, voluntary drinking only replaces about two-thirds of the body’s water lost as sweat.ÿ In addition, they also do not drink enough to keep pace with their significant sweat loss.ÿ Therefore, everyone should get in the habit of drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day as often as possible.ÿ Athletes should especially do this, in addition to replacing 100% of the sweat they lose during any type of exercise.

2. Encourage rapid and complete rehydration

The key to rapid and complete rehydration is to provide your body with enough electrolytes in your choice beverage to serve as a force to restore and maintain extra fluid volume.ÿ However, this only proves to be effective and is dependent on, ingesting both the fluid and electrolytes that are lost through sweat.

3. Compensate for caffeine and alcohol

ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Since these both have a diuretic effect, it is crucial to balance out the additional water loss that occurs when drinking either caffeine or alcohol.ÿÿÿ

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Water

Next to oxygen, water is your body’s most important nutrient and ranks first as the single most abundant substance in the human body.ÿ Up to 60% of your body is water, with 75% in your brain, 82% in your blood and 90% in your lungs.ÿ Water delivers nutrients and oxygen to cells, removing waste, cushioning joints and protecting an athlete’s organs and tissues.ÿ

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Gatorade/Powerade

ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Gatorade and Powerade have all of the electrolytes like sodium, chloride and potassium that are lost through sweat.ÿ They help put back those lost electrolytes and stimulate thirst so that athletes will stay hydrated.ÿ Some of the key ingredients in these specialized sports drinks also have important functions that aid in the hydration of it’s users.ÿ Some of these functions include: providing energy, cooling the body, lowering the risk of dehydration, metabolizing carbohydrates, driving thirst, playing a role in fluid and carbohydrate absorption, and aiding fluid retention.ÿ In addition, both sport drinks have many added benefits, which include: providing fuel for sustained performance, delaying fatigue, helping recovery, maintaining body temperature, replacing lost fluids, metabolizing carbohydrates, helping provide energy, assisting in rehydration, and helping maintain effective hydration.ÿ

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Cytomax

ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Cytomax is a scientifically advanced carbohydrate and electrolyte performance energy drink.ÿ It is proven to ensure proper hydration, steady energy, and reduce the signs of fatigue.

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Pedialyte

ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ Even though this product is made especially for children with dehydration, it is formulated to help quick absorption and contains an appropriate balance of fluid and electrolytes; perfect for any athlete looking to refuel.ÿÿ

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Recommendation

With the combination of the necessary electrolytes and liquid, sport drinks like Gatorade and Powerade come out on top as our number one choice to guarantee any rider rapid and complete hydration, either before or after a race.ÿ

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Conclusion

ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ In the end, hydration is crucial in maintaining your performance both on and off the track.ÿ Here are the most important tips to keep in mind:

ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ -Always keep fluids flowing throughout the duration of the day

-Hydrate 2-3 hours before practices and races

-Aim for at least 16 ounces of fluid 2-3 hours before a race and an additional 8 ounces 10-20 minutes prior to heading to the starting gate

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