Drink properly: tips for recreational athletes

Sports events attract thousands to the streets - and not just for watching. Jogging, skating and cycling are popular with young and old. Sport is not only fun, it also gets body and mind going. So that the health takes no damage, drinking is particularly important in the summer months. Because who drives sports consumes energy, but only to 25 percent flows into the movement. The rest is converted into heat, the body temperature rises and we sweat.

Sweating: loss of fluid and minerals

Sweat has an important function: when it evaporates, it removes heat from the body and protects it from overheating. Because sweat consists mainly of water, the lost fluid must be replaced. Depending on the sport and the ambient temperature, the loss of water per hour can be between one and four liters. If you want to know exactly, you should weigh yourself before and after the sport. The weight loss corresponds to the required amount of drinking.

Early quench your thirst

When it comes to sports, it's important to drink at the right time - preferably before the thirst comes along. Like hunger, thirst can not be assigned to any organ or body part. As the blood volume decreases and the amount of solute in the blood increases, sensory cells relay that information to the brain. When water loss exceeds 0.5 percent of body weight (about 350 milliliters in adults), the brain detects dehydration and thirst.

The thirst can easily be ignored in sports and everyday life. It is therefore advisable to always pay attention to a sufficient amount of drinking. Even before the sport about 250 milliliters of mineral water or juice spritzer should be drunk. This is important to start with a balanced fluid balance.

Too little liquid - decreasing performance

The first signs of a lack of fluid are not dramatic, but are already noticeable when the water content in the body is reduced by two percent. The supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain and muscles is limited and the performance decreases. For sports activities lasting up to one hour, it is sufficient to replace the sweat losses afterwards. Endurance sport for one hour requires hydration during exercise to prevent performance or circulation problems. As a guideline: Drink every 20 minutes about 200 milliliters of liquid swallowed.

Drink - but what?

Well suited are mineral water or juice spritzer with a third juice. For professional athletes special drinks have been developed that contain as much dissolved matter as the blood. These so-called isotonic drinks are recommended for athletes who are active for more than three hours without taking solid food. In addition to the liquid, they also replace used energy and sweaty minerals.

For recreational athletes, isotonic drinks are superfluous, because they are not the supply of energy and minerals in the foreground, but the replacement of liquid. Isotonic drinks offer no advantage, but cost more than mineral water and juice spritzer. These are slightly hypotonic, so they contain slightly less dissolved particles than the blood. The minerals that are lost with the sweat, the recreational athletes can easily replace with a varied diet after exercise.

Tips for recreational athletes - drinks in comparison

Drink (0.2 l)Energy (kcal)
Orange Juice95
Apple juice96
Multivitamin nectar95
fruit juice drink98
Lemonade98
cola98
Cola Light0.5
vegetable juice35
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