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Hydration during exercise:

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First, little reminder to say that the body consists of 60% water (45 l for an adult of 75 kg!). The organization strives to maintain a balance between inputs and outputs optimally. In the normal state, the control input is primarily through thirst and that of outputs uses several hormones that regulate the work of the kidney and therefore the amount of urine produced.


There during physical exercise, especially long-term, especially if carried out under the summer sun, a significant loss of water and minerals through sweating. Losses that can result in serious health consequences if they are important and are not compensated. The sensation of thirst during exercise and late and did not compensate for the losses!
Sweating can lead to a loss of water 0.5 to 2.5 l / hour.
The second element to be taken into account (we later see again for rehydration during prolonged exercise) and mineral loss and especially salt (NaCl) through perspiration.
This combined loss (water salt) will have two adverse effects on your body:
- An increase in the required work to your heart (by rapid heartbeat).
- An increase in your body temperature.
These effects can result:
- A decrease in performance proportional to the level of dehydration; it appears from 1% body weight loss. Physical exhaustion and intellectual will be felt around 5% and there is a risk of death from 10%.
- Risk of an accident in which the "heat stroke" with a body temperature> 40 ┬░, consciousness disorders and impairment of the liver and kidneys in particular.

the rehydration

It includes 3 phases:
- The beverage outlet.
- Gastric emptying (transit time in the stomach) that is related to the volume and the energy density of the drink as well as the intensity of exercise.
- Intestinal absorption which depends on the osmolarity of the beverage and the intensity of the effort.
Rehydration should bring 0.5 to 1.5 l / hour. Amount to be adapted to the sport, effort and climatic conditions.
During long-term efforts, rehydration should have an intake of sodium; Indeed, sweating removes a portion of the Sodium in the body that must be replaced at risk of complication: hyponatremia.
Hyponatremia is a decrease in the concentration of sodium in the body that may be responsible for digestive disorders, headaches and confusion and even coma if it worsens.
The salt intake (1.2 g / l drink) must be systematic for tests of 4 hours or more, during which the fluid intake is important (at least 4 l).

What to drink?

During a short drive (less than an hour) and of low intensity, water alone is enough.
During a workout or a longer race, we prefer a sports drink carbohydrate intake (glucose or maltose-rich). This could be a drink "ready for consumption" or for example a grape juice or nectar diluted to 50% which will be used every 15 to 30 minutes.
Finally, for long trials, do not forget salt intake.
So, if you want more details, you have:
- A paper (book): Recommended dietary allowances for the French population / AFSSA, CNERNA-CNRS; dir. Ambroise Martin; V├ęronique Aza├»s-Braesco, Jean-Louis Bresson, Charles Couet ... [et al.]

- The site of the AFSSA:
Good luck to all and remember that stress, drink regularly from the beginning of training and even before you feel thirsty!

Doctor Charles AISENBERG. - 24 janvier 2011.

Conflicts of interest: the author or authors have no conflicts of interest concerning the data published in this article.


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