Intake of fluids during training
Water serves many purposes in the human body, such as regulating the body temperature and acting as a transport medium for vital substances. A loss of fluid equivalent to only 2% of the body weight can substantially reduce performance. A loss of more than 5% creates the risk of nausea and cramps or convulsions, and life can even be at risk if more than 10% of fluid is lost.
Many sportspeople underestimate the importance of an adequate intake of fluids, so they misjudge the causes of muscle cramps, loss of strength and fatigue, leading them to draw the wrong conclusions.
The body must already become accustomed to an adequate intake of fluids during training. To achieve optimal performance, this means that it is essential to start training in a fully hydrated condition and to replace the fluid lost during training.
Tipps on drinking adequate quantities
A valid rule of thumb is: 1-2 liters of fluid per day and approx. 300-800 ml of fluid per hour during physical activity. For training sessions lasting up to 60 minutes, water or a low-energy sport drink such as Carnitin 1000 Mineral Drink will be adequate. For training sessions of up to two hours, an isotonic or hyptonic sport drink such as Isotonic or Competition is advisable (depending on tolerance) and for two hours of activity or more, the body needs proteins as well as carbohydrates. A suitable product for this purpose, for example, is Long Energy Competition Formula.
Drink 200 ml about every 15 minutes during endurance training and competitions. Pay attention to the climate conditions as well. The fluid requirement increases when the weather is warm and dry.
For a detailed information about adequate quantities please check the recommandations on Swiss Forum for Sport Nutrition.
Ideal sport drinks
Sport drinks are usually isotonic. This means that they contain the same concentration of dissolved substances as the blood. The fluid and the dissolved substances therefore reach the bloodstream quickly. Hypotonic drinks, on the other hand, have a slightly lower concentration, but in return for this they are tolerated better by the stomach in most cases. Also the absorption of hypotonic sportdrinks is slightly better than from isotonic drinks. Both isotonic and hypotonic drinks generally feature a wide sugar spectrum, resulting in a long-lasting supply of energy. For these reasons, you should pay attention to the list of ingredients when choosing your sport drink!
Another key factor is the sodium content. Sodium accelerates the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, which in turn causes water to be drawn in due to the shift in the concentration of the dissolved substances.