Five Performance Punishing Consequences of Dehydration
You love a sunburnt country right? That is, except when you are battling dehydration as you exercise during the long, hot summer months. Unfortunately, too many athletes underestimate the impact that dehydration can have on exercise performance, so here are five consequences of dehydration that outline the impact it can have on your athletic ability:
- Decreased blood flow to muscles1 - Reduced blood flow to your muscles means less nutrients such as oxygen and glucose (for energy) being delivered, and ultimately reduced physical performance.
- Poor mental clarity - Dehydration lowers blood flow and oxygen delivery to the body2 inhibiting the brain’s supply of oxygen and its ability to clear waste products. These consequences may lead to a decline in cognitive function and in your brains ability to coordinate your muscles for movement.
- Increased body temperature - When the body is dehydrated, its ability to regulate temperature is impaired. Increased body temperature can increase the heart rate and impact blood flow to the muscles and brain.3
- Increase perceived exhaustion/fatigue - You get weak and tired far more quickly.4
- Decreased gastric emptying - When your stomach struggles to empty its contents, it can make you feel sick and create other unpleasant digestive symptoms that you definitely don’t want on the run!5
To help avoid the performance punishing consequences of dehydration, try Endura Rehydration Performance Fuel and beat the heat this summer.
How Long do you Have?
You may be aware of the negative impact of dehydration on athletic ability, but do you know how fast those effects can set in? The dangers of dehydration, and their speed of onset, are amplified during stifling Australian summers when the mercury soars and humidity suffocates. In fact, in extreme conditions sweat loss rates of up to 2.4 L per hour can occur!6 More commonly athletes lose up to 2% of body mass through sweat during exercise, which can increase to 7% during intensive exercise in hot and humid conditions.7.
A sweat loss of only 2% of total body mass can see the effects of dehydration start to set in,8 and can occur after just one hour of intensive exercise.9 It is therefore critical that you prepare and fuel your body sufficiently to avoid the power draining effects of dehydration. Endura Rehydration Performance Fuel is a summer safeguard to help keep you firing, despite the fierce temperatures served up by the Australian climate.
Why Heat and Humidity Erode Ability
You know that heat and humidity effect energy and aerobic capacity, but do you know why? The short answer is that dehydration occurs more rapidly as your body struggles to off-load enough heat to maintain peak performance.10,11
In low temperatures your body can release excess heat through two methods: radiation and evaporation.12 Radiation is the transfer of body heat directly into a cooler environment,13 whereas evaporation refers to cooling by water vaporisation, for example by sweating.14 When the ambient temperature is higher than your core body temperature (i.e. above 35°C) it becomes more difficult to dissipate heat. At these higher temperatures radiation stops working and your body relies on evaporation to cool down,15 however, evaporation has its limitations. In high humidity (greater than 75%) evaporation becomes much less effective. If both environmental temperature and humidity are high, your body effectively loses its cooling options.16
Although your body is able to cope with a reasonable amount of high heat, excessive exposure can decimate performance and potentially cause heat injury. Endura Rehydration Performance Fuel is suitable for hot, humid conditions to help you stay well hydrated and provide your body with the water, carbohydrates and electrolytes it needs to support cooling mechanisms and replenish itself. Endura Rehydration Performance Fuel will help to maintain your rigorous training schedule without overheating this summer.
Four Tips to Avoid the Perils of Dehydration
Did you know that a significant number of athletes are dehydrated before they even begin a race?17 As surprising as it may sound, dehydration is more common than you think. It is particularly important in the stifling Australian summers that you plan ahead to beat the heat and conquer the competition. Here are four tips to help you keep cool and stay hydrated during these merciless months.
- Load up: before an event or big training session, load up on carbs and electrolytes by mixing 1 rounded scoop of Endura Rehydration Performance Fuel in 200 mL of water. Take 3 doses each day, 2 to 3 days before the event. Loading up will ensure you have plenty of carbs and electrolytes stored in your muscles ready for use during exercise.
- Charge up: mix 1 rounded scoop of Endura Rehydration Performance Fuel with 350 mL of water. Drink 1 to 2 doses 30 mins before any exercise to ensure you are out of the blocks with a full tank of fuel.
- Top up: Take 1 rounded scoop of Endura Rehydration Performance Fuel mixed with 350 mL of water every hour of exercise. Prepare a water bottle filled with a couple of doses beforehand for convenience while on the run.
- Cool down: Take 1 rounded scoop of Endura Rehydration Performance Fuel mixed with 350 mL of water within the hour after exercise, to help you cool down and speed your recovery.
Don’t let dehydration get to you this summer. Use these four simple tips to keep you cool, calm, competitive, and on top of your game.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional.