Why do so many athletes take rehydration supplements?

Why do so many athletes take rehydration supplements?

If you’re not an athlete, you’re probably wondering why athletes often take plenty of rehydration supplements instead of just plain water. You often see them chugging down special drinks in between training and games. Keep on reading to find out more about these supplements and whether or not they are also right for you.

What are rehydration supplements? 

Rehydration supplements are specially formulated drinks or powders that help replenish the fluid and electrolyte losses from intense physical activities. These are popular among athletes and those who have high activity levels.

 

Included in these supplements are electrolytes like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Often, amino acids are also incorporated into the drink like glycine.

Rehydration isn’t just about water

When we talk about hydration, we often think about drinking water. While drinking water is the easiest way to hydrate our bodies, in some people, it may not be enough. When people sweat, pass out urine, and have a bowel movement, it is not only water that is lost. On top of this, the body also loses large amounts of electrolytes. If this is not replenished as soon as possible, a person may develop certain electrolyte deficiencies.

 

Thus, in people who regularly sweat in large amounts, hydrating with water is not enough. He or she must also replace the electrolytes lost.

Hydration affects performance

Apart from health reasons, athletes are concerned with their hydration status because it significantly affects their performance. If you don’t already know, a drop of just about 2% of body water already has a huge impact on our bodies - especially on athletes. It impairs cognitive performance and motor skills.

 

As our bodies start to lose water, our coordination, agility, and overall strength also begin to diminish. This is the main reason why athletes are particular with rehydrating themselves.

 

It avoids heat exhaustion

If a person does heavy activities in hot weather, he or she may suffer from heat exhaustion. This can easily be avoided by regularly replenishing water losses. Water is the main substance that controls our bodies’ temperature. Without it, our bodies will fail to keep our internal temperatures low. This will eventually result in heat exhaustion. Moreover, what we would like to avoid in athletes is heatstroke, which is a lethal form of heat exhaustion.

When do they need rehydration supplements?

Typically, a person will need rehydration supplements if he or she performs intense physical activities where too much sweat is lost. This is especially when an athlete or a physically active person spends a lot of time outdoors where the temperature is really high.

 

Conversely, these supplements are also ideal for those who have suffered heavy water losses such as in cases of diarrhea and vomiting.

 

 

For athletes, rehydration supplements are a part of their routine. They make sure to keep them hydrated enough after sessions of heavy physical exertion. Moreover, they help them keep their performance up by supplying them with the hydration and nutrients that they need.