Hydration Importance & the Effects of Dehydration

by Jerry Teixeira of Precision Nutrition Plus

ImageIf you’re someone who’s regularly participating in any form of races, whether it be motocross racing, cross country racing or desert racing, or you’re someone who may not be racing but likes to hit the trails regularly, one very important factor that you must make sure you aren’t overlooking is that of hydration.

Most ATV racers and athletes in general place a huge amount of focus on how many calories they’re taking in, how much protein they’re getting daily, as well as how they are dividing up their carbohydrate and fat intakes. But, do they stop to think about how much fluid they’re consuming?

Most often, they don’t and this can really hinder their performance level.

Let’s take a quick look at the importance of hydration so that you can see for yourself why you must start making this a top consideration when planning out your nutritional regime.

Impact on Energy Levels

The very first thing to note about hydration is the connection between it and your energy levels. Even slight dehydration to the tune of a loss of 1-2% of your normal hydration level can really influence how much energy you’re able to train or compete with.
Considering the fact that about 75% of your lean muscle tissue is composed of water, you can easily see how much of an impact lack of water in the system would have. Your strength levels will go down and you won’t see the performance that you typically would during your race or training session. Studies have shown at only 2% dehydration, our body’s performance capability decreases by 12 to 15%. Our body’s temperature begins to increase as well as our heart rate.

ImageImpact On The Metabolism
Another big issue that will come about if dehydration is present is a sluggish metabolic rate. Your body requires incoming water on a daily basis in order to function properly and maintain all the natural processes that go on throughout the day.
When insufficient water is present, these processes will slow down, hence you’ll be burning fewer calories at rest. For anyone who is trying to loose weight whether it be for the race season or just have a healthier body weight, you know very well that you want to be maximizing your metabolism as much as possible.

Having sufficient water intake will help with this.

Impact On Blood Pressure

Finally, the last issue that dehydration will present to the body is the impact it has on your blood pressure. Since maintaining good blood pressure will be essential for force and strength development, you want to be doing everything possible to keep it in the normal range.

Severe dehydration can really reduce blood pressure and this will translate to you having poor performance in the ring, on the track, or in the gym.

In very serious cases, it could be quite dangerous to train in states of dehydration when blood pressure is low as you could wind up passing out.

So make sure that you’re not overlooking the impacts dehydration has on your body and your training. If you really want to maximise performance, this important consideration must be planned right into your diet along with selecting all the foods that will fuel you throughout the day.

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