Hydration is extremely important; the body is composed of 60% water, which is used for thermoregulation, breathing, communication between cells and neurons.

An athlete not well hydrated forces his body to work badly, not in the optimal condition to have an excellent performance and a loss of liquids equal to 2% of body weight (1.4 kg in athlete of 70 kg)leads to a drastic drop in performance, thermoregulatory alteration (hot flashes, pronounced redness in the face), and blood changes.

Speaking about thermoregulation...the body takes from 10 to 14 days to acclimatize, the loss of liquids with sweat is initially very high then slowly decreases and stabilizes, loss of liquids and minerals; Trained athletes begin to sweat faster than untrained athletes and women sweat less profusely than men, but more widely on the body.

There are several ideas: planning hydration or drinking when needed, but feeling thirsty is a late stimulus of the body when it is already dehydrated.

Surely one thing not to do is the “water load”, because it leads to excessive dilution of blood and problems of the digestive system.

Hints & Tips:
- In case of low intensity activity, no mere than 90 min,  or with very cold temperatures, you can drink if needed, otherwise you have to study a hydration plan
- Drink before start, a solution of carbohydrates, sodium, chloride, magnesium and potassium
- Replenish lost liquids,1L per hour of activity

Dott.ssa Annalisa Faè