Monday, December 17, 2012

Nutrition - Hydration.

Another important area that often gets neglected in-between all that eating and bench press is Hydration. It's an area that I focus on massively, as even if I am slightly dehydrated I just don't train or play very well. Plus I feel sick and tired. So the very kind people @blueberryNutrit have put together another great easy to read blog, all about Hydration.

Have a look and add some tips to your daily routine


Hydration and the Athlete.

When it comes to Fitness, Training, Nutrition and Health we are all aware that we need to tailor our diets to manipulate our Protein, fats and Carbs in order to achieve our goals.  One aspect that is absolutely integral to anyone’s regime that often is overlooked or taken for granted is WATER and hydration.

Each of us is made up of approx. 80% water. Our Brains (most of us) are made up of 70% water, our lungs are 90% water and lean muscle is comprised of around 75% water – so it is easy to see that it is crucial to remain hydrated to optimise performance.

There are several factors that promote fluid loss, these include

·       Surrounding temperature
·       Exercise duration
·       Exercise intensity

If we do not replace the fluids lost from exercise or indeed from day to day activities then we are prone to DEHYDRATION.  We all know dehydration is a bad thing but did you know that dropping a certain % of body weight due to fluid loss can have the following effects

·       2% loss can affect aerobic capacity by 10-20%
·       5% loss can affect aerobic capacity by up to 30%
·       8% loss can cause severe problems including dizziness and confusion

As a rule of thumb if you consume 3000kcals/day you need to be drinking a minimum of 3 litres of fluids / day. So if you consume 1750Kcals / day you need to drink a minimum of 1.75Lites of fluids / day.

So the question is – HOW MUCH WATER & WHEN?

Before you engage in any form of physical activity, be it 80 minutes on the rugby pitch to just going for a leisurely jog around the block you should take on as much water as comfortably possible. This means that you are adequately hydrated before you start exercising and of course you should top up throughout the time your exercising.

It is possible to maintain optimal performance by replacing 80% of fluids that are lost via sweat (Montain and Coyle 1992) Also if you are exercising for longer than 30minutes you should try to take on 150-300ml fluid every 20-30minutes where possible.

What about sports drinks?

In order to understand what sports drink is right for your needs and when you should use it -

Sports drinks fall into 3 categories


Hypotonic drinks have a low osmolality – this means that it has fewer particles (electrolytes such as salt potassium etc.) /100ml than our body’s own fluids (blood etc.) this fact means that hypotonic solutions are absorbed quicker than water. Hypotonic solutions should be used when hydration is priority.
Hypotonic solutions typically contain 4g Carbohydrate/100ml.

 Hypotonic solutions should be used during exercise of low - moderate intensity that lasts less than 1 hour.


Isotonic drinks have an osmolality that is the same or very similar to our body’s own fluids.  This means that isotonic solutions are absorbed as fast or faster than water. Isotonic solutions are a compromise between re-fuelling and hydrating due to the fact that they contain between 4-8g Carbohydrate/100ml. Isotonic solutions should be used during exercise od high intensity that lasts less than 1 hour.


Hypertonic drinks have an osmolality that is higher than our body’s. This means that the fluid in a hypertonic solution is absorbed slower than water. However the function of a hypertonic solution is to provide energy as a hypertonic fluid contains more than 8g Carbohydrate/ 100ml. Ideally hypertonic solutions should be used during long periods of high intensity exercise that last longer than 1 hour.

Below is a summary of the types of fluids to use and when

Exercise conditions
Drink type
< 30 minutes
Low-moderate intensity < 1 hour
High intensity < I Hour
Hypotonic / isotonic sports drink
High Intensity > 1 hour
Hypotonic / isotonic sports drink, glucose polymer

To find out more or get your own individually tailored nutrition plan check out


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