Fluids and hydration in prolonged endurance performance.Nutrition 2004 Jul-Aug; 20(7-8):651-6N
Numerous studies have confirmed that performance can be impaired when athletes are dehydrated. Endurance athletes should drink beverages containing carbohydrate and electrolyte during and after training or competition. Carbohydrates (sugars) favor consumption and Na(+) favors retention of water. Drinking during competition is desirable compared with fluid ingestion after or before training or competition only. Athletes seldom replace fluids fully due to sweat loss. Proper hydration during training or competition will enhance performance, avoid ensuing thermal stress, maintain plasma volume, delay fatigue, and prevent injuries associated with dehydration and sweat loss. In contrast, hyperhydration or overdrinking before, during, and after endurance events may cause Na(+) depletion and may lead to hyponatremia. It is imperative that endurance athletes replace sweat loss via fluid intake containing about 4% to 8% of carbohydrate solution and electrolytes during training or competition. It is recommended that athletes drink about 500 mL of fluid solution 1 to 2 h before an event and continue to consume cool or cold drinks in regular intervals to replace fluid loss due to sweat. For intense prolonged exercise lasting longer than 1 h, athletes should consume between 30 and 60 g/h and drink between 600 and 1200 mL/h of a solution containing carbohydrate and Na(+) (0.5 to 0.7 g/L of fluid). Maintaining proper hydration before, during, and after training and competition will help reduce fluid loss, maintain performance, lower submaximal exercise heart rate, maintain plasma volume, and reduce heat stress, heat exhaustion, and possibly heat stroke.