Maintaining Athlete Hydration
The general consensus regarding dehydration is a reduction by more than 3% of an individuals body mass can effect endurance performance negatively.
A easy way to manage sweat rate and hydration status is with a pre and post exercise weigh-in. This calculates the weight loss, how much fluid was been lost and estimates the amount of fluids required to return to a hydrated status.
The procedure is simple:
Before the ride– weigh yourself, when naked
During the ride– aim to consume 600ml-1000ml an hour (in the heat) or to thirst if exercising in cooler environments. Also aim for around 60g of carbohydrate an hour
After the ride- returning home, please weigh yourself, when naked, and record the weight loss
Hours riding– time spent riding
Equation: Pre exercise weight – Post exercise weight = Total weight lost
Total weight loss in Kg’s x 1.6 = the amount of fluids in liters you need to consume to re-hydrate. This fluid can be water, juice, Gatorade etc. To this end weight loss during exercise is largely fluid loss.
Sweat Rate: (Before Ride – After Ride + During Ride)/hours riding= Sweat Rate per Hour (at a specific temperature of exercise only)
- Before Ride: 70kg’s
- During Ride: consumed 2 x 700ml bottles of fluids= 1.4L
- After Ride: 68kg’s
- Hours riding: 2
- Equation: 70 -68= 2kg’s
- Total Weight Loss: 2 x 1.6L = 3.2L of fluids needs to be consumed
- Sweat Rate: (70-68+1.4)/2= 1.7litres an hour (be sure to monitor this periodically as sweat rate can change over time and different ambient temperatures. For example this sweat rate may only apply for present fitness at 25c…)
The best way to monitor your hydration status over time, and what is a suitable amount of fluids to be consuming when exercising, is to complete the above process in order to reduce weight loss over a ride. You will eventually have an understanding of your own sweat rate (everyone’s sweat rate is different) and what is a suitable amount of fluids to consume.
B.Sc. (Psy & Sport Sc.); B.Psy (Hons)
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