Sports hydration is a performance factor in a Skillathletic class. These training sessions aim to develop the execution of free body exercises at natural load or with large and small equipment focusing on speed, agility and stamina. As in all HIIT trainings, hydration is essential.
When we talk about hydration, we immediately think of water. Water is very important in sport. But it’s not enough on its own: some minerals are needed. In many sports, particularly those that last more than a few dozen minutes and/or take place in an environment that results in abundant sweating, such as Skillathletic classes, it is essential that the athlete, while the effort is still ongoing, replenish at least part of the losses of water and minerals caused by sweating. The loss of water by the body, in fact, leads to a significant deterioration in performance and can also prove dangerous.
We drink because the body asks for it, or because someone else is sipping, for example, a water bottle. Two aspects – one physical, the other psychological – one result: you do drink. Of course, intense physical exertion or certain climatic conditions, such as cold, can reduce or end the sense of thirst.
For this reason, you must drink if you train at low temperatures, trying to anticipate thirst. When the body asks for it, it means that you have already lost 2% of weight water. The water and fluid intakes are regulated by the hypothalamus, the structure of the central nervous system located between the two brain hemispheres. Training in poor hydration results in a reduction in the body’s ability to adapt to training intensities and a significant increase in the risk of physical breakdowns.
Some medical sports associations recommend proper quantities of drinking. ACSM – American College of Sports Medicine recommends taking about 500 ml of fluids 2 hours before exercise to promote adequate hydration and have time to drop excess. The recommendation of the American Dietetic Association is very similar: 400 to 600 ml of fluids, two hours before exercise. The National Athletic Training Association argues that to ensure adequate pre-workout hydration, the athlete should consume about 500-600 ml of water, or sports-specific drink, 2-3 hours before exercise and 200-300 ml of water or sports-specific drink 10-20 min before the start of the competition.
The amount of liquid that should be taken as soon as the heat is over and before the start of the effort is related to the ability to withstand the presence of the drink in the stomach without feeling discomfort. This also depends on the type of commitment to which one is subjected and the type of effort: Skillathletic classes – because they involve vertical shaking of the internal organs – do not allow you to take drinks as concentrated as is possible, yet, in indoor cycling classes. Generally this can be achieved with 200 to 300 mL of fluids every 10-20 min. It is impossible to give exact quantitative indications for each athlete, since the volume of liquids to be taken must be about the volume of those lost, which is affected by various factors; anyway, it shouldn’t cause an excessive relaxation of the stomach. It should always be borne in mind that when the garments are soaked in sweat, it is appropriate to drink, in sips, a quantity of drink greater than that suggested by thirst.
The drink to be taken immediately before training, as well as that to be taken during the commitment, must provide in the shortest possible time to recover what has been lost through sweating. It must pass quickly through the stomach and must then be absorbed in a short time at the intestinal level; compatibly with this, it is good that it provides a certain supply of carbohydrates to the body, but without excesses.
Drinks for athletes should have certain specific characteristics. If, for example, it is very rich in carbohydrates, that cause an increase in blood sugar, which can inhibit the use of fatty acids during exercise and also cause the so-called reactive hypoglycemia – the subsequent decline of blood sugar in the body system as the liquids are fully absorbed. It’s the case of certain soft and sport beverages containing abundant - and concentrated - glucose, sucrose or maltodextrin. So, the best choice are isotonic drinks, with about 5-10g of carbohydrates on 100 ml.
The deficiency of one or more of the minerals lost through sweating creates problems for the body. If, moreover, the absorption of the ions is blocked, it happens that the absorption of water also stops. It is therefore good that the athlete’s drink contains the main minerals found in sweat, such as sodium, chlorine, potassium and magnesium. Among them, sodium is certainly the most important mineral, both because it is the ion that with sweat is lost in greater quantities, and because the hyponatremia in the athlete is a real risk. For the same sweat produced, the well-trained athlete loses less sodium than those who practice physical activity only occasionally.
If the drink taken contains sodium, rehydration is faster, because sodium promotes the absorption of water by the body. Unlike what we might think, the intake of sodium does not determine an increase in fluid retention.