Monday, October 22, 2007

The 2% Solution

The most recent edition of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition includes a supplemental review of hydration and physical performance by Bob Murray, PhD. In a nutshell, this article tries to summarize how dehydration affects physical performance.

The main points to remember:
  1. The current scientific consensus is that dehydration equal to 2% or more of your body weight will negatively effect athletic performance.
  2. Most dehydration occurs from water lost through sweat.
  3. There's a substantial variation in the sweating rates between individuals. That is, no two people sweat at the same rate.
  4. Each person's sweat rate changes depending upon their exercise intensity, length of exercise, and environment (how hot it is in the gym or out on the playground).
  5. There is no current evidence that hyperhydration (drinking more than you need) provides any performance advantage over just staying well-hydrated during a game.

So what's the 2% solution? What should you do to stop dehydration from ruining your game?

Go back to my previous post on how to prevent dehydration during a game or practice.

In addition, if you're playing ball outside on a hot day, try to find a shady spot to hang out when you're not playing, preferably one with a good breeze that will help cool you down even more.

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