Ladies, of course, merely glow rather than sweat. Yet this old adage reflects a lot of truth about our mutual sweatiness. We are all quite different in the amounts of the stuff we produce whilst exercising.
Whilst dehydration caused by a 30-minute jog or gym session is very unlikely to impair performance; once we start to look at endurance- and team sports then events over ‘an hour’ are VERY much more likely to have situations where performance becomes impaired due to a degree of hydration. Once you lose above 2% of your body weight you might start to have problems.
If you weigh 75kg then 2% of your bodyweight is 1500ml of sweat. That SOUNDS a lot. *BUT* weigh yourself naked before and after an hour of normally strenuous exercise and see how much weight/water you lose per hour. You’ll be surprised.
So, having done that, you know how much to rehydrate by, right? All you have to do is drink to your sweat rate??
Well, sort of.
Ask yourself, “How much potassium and sodium did you lose in all that sweat?” Off-the-shelf sports drinks assume an average amount. You may well, or very may well not, be average.
Dehydration AND SODIUM DEPLETION will EACH make you perform less well. It gets a bit more complex than just taking table salt as you also need to consider potassium, calcium and magnesium depletion.
I would say I am a much better-than-averagely hydrated person. I drink a lot of fluids. BUT I also go to the toilet quite a lot. I have noticed with H2PRO and other similar products that I can drink 500ml relatively quickly and then not ‘lose’ so much soon after through urine.
Sodium loading can help boost blood plasma volumes and, whilst this doesn’t seem to aid, oxygen transfer per se, it apparently helps improve performance through better-maintained temperature regulation (Del Coso 2015).
- Pre-exercise sodium loading can increase performance (Barr, 1999)
- It’s possible that the incidence of cramp may be reduced (Anecdotal)
- This best strategy is to stay persistently hydrated throughout the week prior to a race.
- Pre-race ‘binge’ hydration works only to a degree. (That’s what I do).
- Precision Hydration offers a free online tool to help assess your personal hydration requirements (here).
- The tablets taste nice to me.
- Varying concentrations of tablets and pills for your precise salt needs.
Negatives: Fuelling and hydration are obvious needs so doing it properly will have few negatives.
- This product and Precision Hydration’s other services are perhaps weighted more towards pro sports teams and serious endurance athletes.
- On the occasions when I do longer and more intense sessions I would look at this kind of hydration. However, I am not so clear as to how to combine that with the sports drinks I use for carbs/caffeine. Although a lucozade sport (type) drink would have something like 500mg of sodium.
- I would imagine that taking on too much salt, too frequently would go against government guidelines – countering that, I would imagine it is irrelevant as you would merely be replacing the higher amounts of electrolytes that you lose.
- Cost. Then again; what is the cost of messing up an entire IronMan race day and the months leading up to it for the sake of a few pounds for hydration and salts?
I had hoped to use these prior to a time trial but that didn’t work out. Instead, I did a CP30 and decided to swim a lane higher for a while.
- For the CP30 I managed the same result as 6 or so weeks previously. But that was following 3 weeks of next to zero cycling. Whether or not the tabs helped, I have no idea. Probably not.
- I was perfectly able to handle the faster swim lane. Rather than boosting my performance, I felt it enabled me to achieve what I out to be able to.
A closing thought, referring back to the picture at the top. If you forgot your hydration you’d probably do a LOT worse than if you forgot your watch.
Alternatives: There are many around which you will find easily enough on Google. I specifically like the free online tool to help asses your personal hydration requirements (here).
You might be able to ‘get by’ with isotonic sports drinks. But, I don’t know about you, I struggle sometimes to consume sugary sports drinks and after a couple I simply prefer water.
Detailed Review: n/a
80p per tablet or 50p for a capsule, with discounts for bigger purchases and a 10-15% discount for you with the code TFK15 (here) at precisitionhydration.com
FYI: I get a 5% commission if you buy something there.