Dehydration risk: how much water do you need when you do sports?

Replenishing the fluids lost through sweat is essential so as not to subject the body to unnecessary stress.

Replenishing the fluids lost with sweat is essential not to subject the body to unnecessary stress and also to obtain a good athletic performance.

A lot of water is lost through sweat and breathing. The amount is generally related to the intensity of physical exertion.

When it starts to run out, some problems can arise, the body no longer works at 100% and, after physical activity, the recovery time of the muscles lengthens.

During and after sports performance

It is very wrong to think that it is better not to drink water during physical activity because otherwise you sweat too much.

Sweating is essential for the body, it serves to regulate temperature. If normally, i.e. under normal conditions, about 300 ml of water is lost every hour, while running or practicing a sport, the amount that is lost is much higher.

For this reason, those who do intense physical activity cannot limit themselves to replenishing the classic two liters of fluids a day. Suffice it to say that moderate physical activity, such as jogging or cycling, causes you to lose an average of one to two liters of sweat per hour.

Avoid dehydration

Sometimes a slight water deficit is enough to experience a reduction in sports performance.

For this reason, professional athletes always drink during physical activity, in order to obtain maximum results and feel fit even after finishing training. Just be careful not to overdo it and drink when you have the stimulus of thirst.

It is also good not to start exercising without being well hydrated, otherwise dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, cramps and poor concentration may occur.

The best choice to rehydrate is water, especially when practicing sports at a non-competitive level.

How much do you need?

You can start by drinking 400-600 ml of water one or two hours before training and another 200-300 ml 15 minutes before. During exercise you can, however, drink 200 ml of water every 15 minutes.

To recover fluids at the end of the workout you should drink about a liter of water for every kilo lost. If, however, the weight loss should be conspicuous, it is better to think about preventing it by drinking more before starting the next workout.

Dehydration and risks to the body

Losing more water than you take in can be dangerous. A dehydration of one percent of body weight is enough to begin to compromise different performance of the body. When dehydration passes to two percent comes problems related to thermoregulation and blood volume.

The situation is further complicated if you reach 5% dehydration: you feel weak and become irritable.

With a dehydration of 7 percent you have to deal with a generalized malaise, deep weakness and hallucinations.

Finally, once 10 percent dehydration is reached, there is a risk of heat stroke.

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

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