Hydration Efficiency: Why your water needs to work as hard as you do.
Hydration may seem like a “no brainer” to most athletes, active people, or weekend warriors, however many do not realize the importance of optimizing fluid intake during intense exercise. The general recommendation for fluid intake during exercise should range 7-10 ounces every 10-20 minutes of intense exercise. Although individual mineral needs vary between each athlete, the types of minerals are still consistent. For example, the loss of a key mineral such as potassium as cited indicates the average athletes loses 180 milligrams of potassium per 2 hour session (1). The key is understanding consuming large amounts of fluid is not enough to replenish the minerals and electrolytes lost during intense exercise. Aside from sodium loss, other minerals lost with sweat are potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc. Mineral content should be viewed as a system of minerals all needed to work together to retain balance and not as ones to pick and choose from.
Although many sports drinks are available to athletes, they often neglect enough electrolyte minerals required paired with the drawbacks of excessive amounts of fructose, calories, and added chemical ingredients. Electrolyte deficiency results in critical issues for athletes including: muscle cramps, headache, nausea, dizziness, vomiting or more severe conditions such as hyponatremia, a disorder of fluid-electrolyte balance than can lead to seizures or worse (2). Water alone is insufficient to replace and balance fluid minerals (3). Additionally, high fructose sports drinks in excess can result in excess total fluid intake causing swelling and gastric issues. Natural, clean, and pure sources for optimal hydration mineral balance are a must for athletes who aim to achieve peak performance.
For example, a high intensity athlete would require 24 ounces of fluid for every 1 hour of exercise (8 ounces per 20 min) equaling a total of 48 ounces for a 2-hour training competition as well as the average 170 mg of potassium to regain fluid balance. Illustrated below is the comparison of regular tap water minerals (3) versus MODe Electrolyte Hydration mineral content (5).
*Note: many sports drinks are absent altogether of key electrolyte minerals such as calcium and magnesium (4,5).
You wouldn’t put the cheapest motor oil into your $500,000 high-functioning engine, so why put only water into your high-functioning body? Achieving proper capacity of fluid is only a fraction of the hydration problem. Optimize mineral and electrolyte intake to get the most out of your workouts or competition. Boosting even just 16oz of your total water intake during a 2-hour training (as illustrated) will properly aid in replenishing minerals. Now that’s what we call hydration efficiency.
1. Fink, H. H., Mikesky, E. A., & Burgoon, A. L. (2012). Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition (3rd ed.)(pp.234-250). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning
2. Fink, H. H., Mikesky, E. A., & Burgoon, A. L. (2012). Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition (3rd ed.)(pg.242). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.