Hydration at Linslade Crusaders
Water makes up around 60% of your total body mass. It is vital for thermal regulation of the body, transporting oxygen and energy to the muscles which are essential for exercise and removing waste by-products of exercise from the muscles, such as lactic acid.
Recent research has shown that around two-thirds of young swimmers begin swim training in a dehydrated state. When the same swimmers relied on thirst as a guide to when to drink they would only drink enough water to replace the amount of fluid lost by swimming, leaving them in the same dehydrated state.
When swimming the body will naturally lose fluids in an attempt to control the swimmer’s body temperature. A swimmer will lose between 125ml and 500ml of water per hour as a result. Because they are in water the swimmer is rarely aware of this.
What effect does dehydration have?
Dehydration effects brain function and athletic performance.
Any amount of dehydration causes a drop in performance. By around 2% dehydration (about 1 litre in an adult) that drop is significant.
What is the best hydration strategy?
The best hydration strategy is:
- To drink water regularly throughout the day;
- To drink between 500ml and 1 litre of water around 1 to 2 hours before training; and To drink between 250ml and 500ml of water per hour during training.
The body can only drink up to 1 litre of water an hour without discomfort. During training you should take regular sips of water, washing it round your mouth before swallowing it. Big gulps are more likely to pass through your body without being fully absorbed.
You can add a small amount of squash (for energy) and a pinch of salt (for electrolytes) to make the drink more effective. However, too much squash slows down the rate at which the body can take the water in.
Information on hydration when swimming for our swimmers from Linslade, Leighton Buzzard and Bedfordshire