However, for most athletes, understanding of hydration is limited to “drink more water and have
a little gatorade”. The importance of When, How and What we hydrate with cannot be
overstated. For the endurance athlete or action sports athlete I wanted to hone in on some
special considerations that are often overlooked.
It's difficult to win the hydration battle when it comes to outdoor sports, you are either sweating
in the heat of summer or the dry winter air is literally drawing the moisture right out of you with
every breath. It doesn't take long before the effects of dehydration set in, blood volume lowers,
oxygen transport decreases, the heart has to work harder and becomes less efficient, muscles
start to burn and exhaustion sets in. To lessen the effects, athletes should begin activities in a well
hydrated state by adhering to the following guidelines:
Before Exercise : 16 ounces 2-3 hours prior | 8 ounces 15 min prior
During Exercise : 4 ounces every 15-20 minutes
After Exercise : 16-20 ounces for every pound of weight lost
Athletic competition and exhaustion go hand and hand, but with proper hydration and nutrition
the line of breakdown can be moved significantly. Which brings us to our second point.
Maintaining Electrolyte balance. A study published in the 2005 Journal of Athletic Training
demonstrated that the duration of strenuous physical activity before the onset of exercise
induced muscle cramps set in could be extended by nearly double the time simply by
supplementing ones hydration efforts with “moderate” not excessive amounts of a carbohydrates
and electrolyte solution.
A combination of preparation and PNG's Electrolyte Balanced Hydration Mix are the
perfect match, with just over 300mg of electrolyte complex and Less than 5G of easily
digestible carbohydrates, exhausted muscles are able recover, mental acuity is restored, and
the bodies vital physiological process are able to return to baseline.
Water vs. Sports Drinks vs. Other
When it comes to daily hydration it is recommended to stick to water as a primary source, other
sources tend to be high in calories or contain caffeine which is a natural diuretic. However,
before and after physical activity it is a good idea to incorporate an electrolyte/carbohydrate
supplement to maintain ideal muscle sodium and potassium levels, as well as blood glucose (carbohydrates)
Traditional sports drinks like Gatorade can help but are not ideal due to the high concentration
of refined sugars. Often times 12 oz. contains as much as 41g of sugar. Lower quantities of 20-25g
spread out over 20-30 minutes intervals is ideal for athletic performance and supplements such
as PNG’s Balanced Hydration Mix provides a great solution.
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