It's no secret that you are what you eat. Your diet has a huge role in your health and fitness.
However, we have another phrase to live by; “Eat what you are!”. And by “eat”, we mean “drink”. Making up to 60% of your total body weight, there is no other compound more essential to the human body than water.
Water is found in virtually every single cell of the human body and plays a critical role in all of your major physiological systems. This means the dehydration effects on endurance performance could cost you:
A podium spot
A successful training session
An ambulance ride to the hospital
This is unfortunate as staying properly hydrated is relatively easy to do with just a little planning. That’s why were here to help.
Dehydration Vs. Hypohydration Vs. Euhydration
Dehydration and hypohydration are two related terms referring to the human body and lack of water. However, they actually refer to two distinct situations and yet are used interchangeably all the time.
Dehydration refers to the general process of losing body water. This is a perpetual process that occurs at all times. This includes sweating, breathing, peeing and of course a bit of moisture from #2’s as well. On average, there is a turnover of 5-10% of your total body water every day.
Under normal circumstances, water loss isn’t an issue as you are able to replenish it through hydration. This leaves you in a physiological state known as euhydration which is when your total body water is at normal levels.
If you don’t replenish the water loss, your dehydration will continue until you reach a physiological state known as hypohydration. Hypohydration occurs when your total body weight has a sustained loss of at least 2% in weight due to water loss.
In effect, people are generally referring to what is more technically referred to as or the path to hypohydration when they say dehydration or “I’m dehydrated.”
Dehydration Effects On Endurance Performance
Recent literature has found that when water loss reaches just a 1% decrease in body weight, a measurable decline in performance can begin to occur.
If you continue down this path you will eventually hit a body water loss of 2%. At this point, your performance will begin to deteriorate. You can expect to see:
8.3% Loss of Muscular Endurance
5.5% Loss of Muscular Strength
5.8% Loss of Anaerobic Power
Higher RPE (Rate Of Perceived Exertion)
No athlete wants that, but outdoor athletes are even more susceptible to dehydration due to their protective gear. Wearing additional layers, helmets, heavy boots, armor, etc. causes the build-up of heat and raises the temperature of the body. In an attempt to cool off, the body will produce more sweat.
In addition, a rise in skin temperature has a direct correlation with decreased performance. At a ≥2% loss of body water, an athlete will experience an extra 1.0-1.5% loss in their performance for every +1℃ increase in skin temperature.
Optimize Your Hydration With Fuel And Electrolytes
There are 2 other factors to consider when forming your hydration plan:
Electrolytes to prevent cramping, fatigue, arm pump and dizziness
Carbs for fuel and fatigue
Our sweat contains a group of ion-containing minerals known as electrolytes. Within the body, electrolytes create an electrical gradient in extracellular fluid that allows electrical impulses to pass between your brain and muscles.
When you sweat too much, electrolytes are depleted and cause a disruption in the communication between your brain and muscles. Goodbye performance and hello bad arm pump and cramps!
In addition, electrolytes are needed to maintain your water-electrolyte balance. Solely drinking water to replace lost water dilutes the extracellular fluid resulting in a condition known as hyponatremia. Specifically caused by low levels of sodium, hyponatremia occurs much more frequently than once thought and can result in nausea, coma, and even death.
Carbs For Fuel
Carbs the body's preferred source of energy. Unfortunately, your glucose stores in the form of muscle and liver glycogen are finite and can become depleted quite quickly during prolonged exercise. Prolonged glycogen depletion not only affects your muscles ability to perform, but it also leads to fatigue, brain fog, and decreased performance.
Simply adding a carb source to your hydration prevents this from occurring. The addition of carbs to an intra-endurance nutrition plan has been found to significantly improve athletic performance in countless studies.
To ensure proper hydration with an appropriate amount of fuel and electrolytes, the easiest and most effective solution is to use a performance based hydration mix such as our Endurance Fuel. Just mix and you're ready to go with the fuel and electrolytes to push you further!
Your New Hydration Plan
Traditional advice on hydration has been to drink when you feel thirsty. New research has uncovered a major flaw with this method as the sensation of thirst isn’t triggered until you’ve already reached a water body loss of 1-2%. In other words, “drinking when thirsty” is playing catch-up.
That’s why we recommend drinking 1 scoop of Hydro Power with 16oz of water every 30mins of training or racing to replenish your muscle glycogen and electrolytes!
The most successful endurance athletes are the ones who fueling with Hydro Power to help get rid of arm pump, increase endurance, so they can perform at there peak.
Staying fueled and hydrated while you race is key to get the most out of your training sessions, joy rides, and races. Using Hydro Power’s Endurance Fuel is a surefire way to check this box.