Boost your performance by staying hydrated

Most people have no idea how much body water they lose during a run and the effects that hydration, or lack of it, can have on their bodies. Hydration is vital, both for your overall wellbeing and when you are training. You could spend hours training to reach peak fitness, but without a clear understanding of how hydration affects performance, you might never achieve your maximum potential.

Why is hydration so important?

Because our bodies are comprised of 40-70% water, just a slight shift in fluid balance can lead to significant changes in running performance. Sweating accounts for well over 90% of the fluid lost during a training session. Add warm temperatures and humidity into the mix and this rate can be even higher. So regularly monitoring your hydration before, during and after training is essential if you want to achieve your best.

Get the balance right

It has been reported that for every 1% drop in body weight from fluid loss, there is a 2% drop in performance. This may not sound much but for someone who weighs 54kg for example, a weight loss of 1.5kg can lead to a 6% drop in their running performance. For every kilogram you lose, you should therefore add at least one litre of fluid to your hydration protocol. In warmer weather this should be increased to 1.2 litres per kilogram and in extreme heat (80 degrees plus) to 1.5 litres per kilogram.

Hydration for training

During training your focus should be on staying hydrated. Try to consume fluids at a rate that keeps pace with your sweat rate, basing your needs on your workout intensity and the heat. The more fluid you lose, the more your performance will be affected so this is especially important in hot conditions or during intense training.

Finally, as you train more remember that your muscle mass will increase and so your hydration needs may change too. By regularly monitoring your hydration levels, you’ll be able to adjust your fluid intake accordingly. And with a Tanita monitor keeping track and identifying potential issues, such as low fluid levels, is easy!