Auswirkungen von Dehydrierung auf die sportliche Leistung

Effects of dehydration on athletic performance.

Malte Wagenbach

Athletes, weekend warriors, professional athletes. Even though they are all at different stages of their sports careers, they all have one thing in common to perform at their best. They need adequate hydration. Proper hydration is something you should always pay attention to in your everyday life, but even more so when you're training. It's important to recognize the signs of dehydration, know the many benefits of hydration and how to drink properly to stay in shape. Let's dive in!

Signs of dehydration

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Dehydration is when the body's total water content decreases due to fluid loss, decreased fluid intake, or both. Sweating during exercise is how your body maintains its temperature. When water loss through sweat is greater than fluid intake, dehydration takes over and interferes with both sweating and heat dissipation from working muscles.3 Symptoms of dehydration are sometimes so minor that athletes struggle with the consequences without knowing it. Common signs of dehydration include dry mouth and tongue, thirst, headache, lethargy, dry skin, muscle weakness, dark urine and/or dizziness.2 Pay attention to what your body is telling you. Early detection and treatment of dehydration is key to staying in the game.

Importance of hydration for athletic performance

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Did you know that insufficient fluid intake can reduce your endurance by almost half? For example, if your endurance time is 121 minutes, dehydration can reduce your endurance time to 55 minutes.1 There are a number of effects that occur when your body is dehydrated that directly impact athletic performance. The effects of dehydration include a decrease in blood volume, decreased skin blood flow, decreased sweat production, increased core temperature, and increased muscle glycogen consumption. All of these factors negatively impact your ability to perform at peak levels.

Dehydration can not only affect your physical performance, but also your mental performance. Your cognitive performance is just as important as your physical performance. Dehydration can lead to slower reaction times, increased fatigue, and poor concentration. Climate also plays a role in hydration. Arizona's intense heat is all the more reason to make sure you stay hydrated year-round.

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For high-performance athletes, limiting fluid loss to no more than 2% of body weight helps maintain the physiological, perceptual, and safety aspects of training while supporting recovery and future workouts.3 Proper hydration contributes significantly to recovery and gets you ready for the next game or practice.

How to hydrate

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Unfortunately, there are ways to ensure proper hydration before, during, and after exercise. Yes, all three times are equally important. A quick way to calculate how much water you need in a day is to take half your body weight in pounds and convert it to ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you need 80 ounces of water. A regular bottle of water contains about 16 ounces, so you'll need at least 5 bottles a day for good hydration. Follow these tips to develop a hydration strategy tailored to your individual needs, so you can stay ahead of the competition.

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Before the activity

The goal is to be well hydrated even before physical activity. Don't wait to hydrate until your body tells you that you are thirsty. Anticipate your thirst and take a sip of water to get a head start. Plan your activities a day in advance and drink enough fluids the night before to put yourself in the best possible position for success.

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During activity

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To maintain your fluid balance during activity, be sure to drink enough fluids to compensate for water loss through sweat while avoiding excessive fluid loss and intake.3 The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that young athletes drink 1 - 1.5 liters or 34 - 50 ounces of water per hour during activity. 50 ounces of water is equivalent to slightly more than 3 disposable water bottles. Electrolytes need to be replenished during activities lasting longer than 90 minutes. A sports drink along with water is helpful and further helps keep you hydrated.

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After activity

The goal of post-activity hydration is to make up for the fluid deficit you lost during your activity. Post-exercise or post-game fluid balance restores fluid balance, improves recovery, reduces symptoms of under-hydration, and reduces post-exercise fatigue. 3 If you want to know how much you should drink after exercise, keep track of your body weight to see how much sweat you've lost. If you lost plus or minus 1.5% of your body weight, you're okay and adequately hydrated. If the number is greater than 1.5%, you're prone to dehydration and should start hydrating as soon as possible.

Fluid intake is something that can often be neglected. Adequate hydration is hugely important for our body's daily functions. It is important for every athlete to monitor their fluid intake and take responsibility for their rehydration strategy. You can train harder, practice longer, and perform better if you stay hydrated.

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References

Jeukendrup, Asker, and Michael Gleeson. "Dehydration and its effects on performance," Humankinetics. N.p., n.d. Web. July 17, 2020,https://us.humankinetics.com/blogs/excerpt/dehydration-and-its-effects-on-performance.

Shaheen, Naila A., et al. "Public Knowledge of Dehydration and Fluid Intake Practices: Variation by Participants' Characteristics." BMC Public Health, BioMed Central, 5 Dec. 2018,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6282244/.

McDermott, Brendon P., et al. "National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Fluid Replacement for the Physically Active." Journal of Athletic Training, National Athletic Trainers Association, Sept. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5634236/.

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