There are a range of studies that suggests that as little as 2% dehydration, equivalent to 1 or 2kg loss in body mass through water, can impair both physical and mental performance.
Associated Physical Impairments
- Increased body temperature + heart rate
- Reduction in plasma volume
- Reduction in force production
- Impairs physical recovery
- Reaction time
- Decision making
Did you know that boxers can lose anywhere between 3-5% of body mass through sweat in a 90 minute Boxing Session?
This makes hydration strategies a crucial part of an athletes preparation during training camp.
In this article, we share easy and effective tips for you to implement hydration strategies.
- Assessment of sweat rate
- Pre-session Hydration
- Morning Hydration
Assessment of sweat rate
This can be performed at a basic level without the most advanced sport science equipment. The process of determining sweat rate involves recording body mass before and after training along with noting the volume of fluid intake during a session.
A sweat rate value can be calculated by adding the amount of weight lost during the session and the volume of fluid consumed.
This net loss is multiplied by 1.5 to obtain the target rehydration value after training.
Addition of electrolytes to a post training drink is important to ensure that fluid consumed is absorbed instead of being immediately excreted through urine.
Sufficient electrolyte intake can also support nerve and muscle function due to the restoration of sodium and potassium levels which are imperative for muscle contraction.
Including liquid carbohydrate intake post training can facilitate quicker and more effective rehydration, with one gram of carbohydrate requiring three grams of water for storage purposes.
Carb gels, skimmed milk and milkshakes are viable options so long as carbohydrate volumes aren’t excessive as this may lead to GI distress.
Following long duration, high-intensity sessions e.g sparring session, it may not be feasible to achieve the rehydration target due to high swat rates. It is important, therefore, to avoid starting the session in a negative fluid balance.
Adhering to the general recommendation of consuming 1-1.5L of fluid in the two-hour window prior to the session along with electrolyte can promote a positive fluid balance.
This pre-loading of fluid may be reinforced by frequently sipping on water at regular intervals with aim of reaching 1-1.5L during training.
Drinking 1 litre of fluid in the first two hours upon waking can off-set the dehydration effects associated with 8-10 hours of sleep and can a establish positive fluid balance for the remainder of the day.
Physical and mental performance can be impaired by 2% dehydration.
Boxers are expected to reach 3-5% dehydration following Boxing sessions.
Boxers should assess their hydration and follow our hydration tips to create effective and accurate hydration strategies.