September 13, 2017
Swimming Hydration, Electrolyte Strategies for Improved Performance and Muscle Cramp Prevention
Hydration, Kidney Health and
Maintaining good hydration is particularly important to competitive and distance swimmers as the continuity of good hydration is important to kidney health. Our kidneys play two very important roles. First, red blood cell production begins in our kidneys with the production of the hormone Erythropoietin. Maintaining a good red blood cell count will directly impact our athletic performance, aerobic fitness and maximal oxygen consumption capacity (also called VO2 max). Second, our kidneys play a key role in electrolyte balance.
Fluid Intake Requirements for
Dehydration can contribute significantly to fatigue and can be detrimental to swimming performance – not only physically, but also mental skills such as focus, technique skills, judgment and decision making can be adversely affected.
Here are some key hydration
points to consider:
• In general, to determine how much water you should be consuming on a daily basis, divide your body weight by half. That is amount of water in ounces you should be consuming daily without exercise.
• Two hours before exercise, swimmers should consume 16 fluid ounces (or half a litre) of water or a sports drink to help hydrate them ahead of time.
• Swimmers should always bring a plastic drinks bottle with them to training sessions.
• Long-term, moderate to intense activity of 30 minutes or more requires periodic rehydration, such as the 8 fluid ounces (quarter of a litre) every 20 minutes.