You might think its a little odd for a physiotherapist to be issuing a weather warning but in fact its an essential part of my job. As a post graduate student I did several studies on the effects on the human body of various strains including exercise at altitude lack of hydration and blood and electrolyte balance.
In this warm weather its particularly important to be fully hydrated. It not only helps guard you from the effects of the sum but ensures correct transport of vital elements to organs. Simply put we just dont operate efficiently when we are dehydrated.
So what is a reasonable level of hydration. The answer is very simple. Try filling a two litre bottle with tap water and by the time you retire it should be empty. Many people who try the trick are surprised that they struggle to empty the bottle by bed time, Its a little difficult I know but it does serve as a measure of how much water we actually are consuming.
For athletes the levels of fluid consumption are considerably higher due to the loss of liquid in perspiration. And in hot climates athletes can consumer even higher levels of h20 just to maintain their correct fluid intake.
Many years ago I attended a talk by the then doctor for the Scottish rugby team. He advised that tests showed that on tour in hot climates players could actually lose pounds of body weight in a single training session and that almost all of this was attributable to water loss due to perspiration.
Remember also that WATER is essential not just fluids. Tea and beer are actually diuretics and aid the loss of fluid and energy drinks are not what is needed. The simple act of running the tap is all the scientific input the average body needs. So keep hydrated and enjoy both your sport and the fine weather.
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