Jan 2, 2018Hydration in the Winter
Many athletes understand the importance of hydration in the warmer months of the year. However, it’s equally critical to remember the importance of remaining hydrated during the winter months, too!
The human body needs to maintain its hydration levels to perform normal functions. The body loses fluids mostly by means of urination, sweating during high-performance activities, and breathing. As little as a two percent decline in an athlete’s hydration levels can lead to a significant (up to 10 percent) decrease in athletic performance. Dehydration interferes with the body’s ability to maintain core temperature and can impact both the mental and physical aspects of performance.
While athletes may not be as sensitive to noticing it, the winter months can cause just as much of an impact on hydration as the summer months. Indoor winter sports like basketball, ice hockey, and wrestling offer their own hydration challenges. For example, factors such as dry air, wind chill, sweating, and even shivering contribute to a loss of fluids in the body, which need to be replaced.
In addition, beverages such as tea, coffee, or soda—which can contain caffeine—can act as diuretics, flushing vital fluid from the system and contributing to dehydration. Alcoholic beverages, also prevalent during the holiday season, can not only contribute to dehydration but increase chances of hypothermia during training in the winter temperatures.
To keep any winter hydration issues at bay, athletes should consume water or a sports drink before, during, and after practices and competitions to maintain peak results. One option for this is The Right Stuff®. It’s a hydration additive developed by NASA that replaces vital fluids in the body quicker than any other tested formula to maintain peak performance both during training and the competitive season.