Recommendations for physical activity.
- Healthy societies from all over the world recommend that adults should be physically active on a daily basis.
- The amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting with no activity) should be minimized.
- Two and a half hours of moderate physical activity a week is the minimum each adult should target.
- The most common recommendation is half an hour for at least 5 days a week.
- Any other duration combinations of at least 10 minutes at a time are possible as long as they add up to the minimum recommended weekly duration of 150 minutes.
- Alternatively, a person may engage in at least 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity every week or do a combination of both moderate and vigorous activity.
- It is also recommended to undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength at least twice a week such as yoga, carrying groceries, and visiting the gym.
Monitoring body fluids during exercise training
A vital thing to remember before, during, and following exercise training is to monitor body fluid levels. Proper hydration is an important nutritional concern for athletes as an athlete loses fluids during training through the sweat and through breathing. If this fluid (which represents approximately 60% of body weight) is not regularly replenished during exercise it can lead to dehydration.
Complications of dehydration during athletic performance training
Dehydration means that the amount of blood in the circulation is reduced in terms of volume. This decreased volume leads to:
- Muscle cramps.
- Exhaustion and fatigue.
- Reduced athletic performance in general.
- Decreased amount of blood pumped by the heart with each beat.
- Reduced amount of oxygen reaching the exercising muscles.
- Reduced removal of exercise byproducts from the circulation.
Therefore, adequate hydration is vital to reduce the risk of heat injury in athletes during performance training and competitions.
How can athletes identify their hydration level?
Prevention of dehydration is the best approach. It is recommended that athletes consume lots of fluids before, during, and after athletic performance exercising.
To identify dehydration, an athlete should monitor:
- Body weight: every kilogram lost during a workout requires nearly one and a half liters of fluids to adequately rehydrate the body. It is therefore important to weigh before and after exercise.
- Urine color: Dark gold urine is a sign of dehydration. Pale lemonade-colored urine is a sign of proper hydration.
Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Thirst is not a reliable indicator. In fact, feeling thirsty is a sign that you are already dehydrated and have lost more than two percent of your body weight in fluids.
Fluid replacement drinks
Sports drinks contain 6 to 8% carbohydrates. They provide energy that water doesn’t and thus improve exercise capacity and performance. Sports drink help maintain blood glucose levels even when muscle glycogen stores are reduced. This helps proper utilization of carbohydrates and adequate energy production to continue training.
Sodium present in sports drinks helps maintain or restore blood volume during exercise training and recovery.
What is the ideal fluid replacement drink?
The ideal fluid replacement drink should:
- Taste good.
- Maintain body fluids.
- Promote rapid fluid absorption from the stomach and intestines.
- Provide energy during intense physical training.
- Should not cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
- Should not cause distress when consumed in large volumes.
- Should contain a small amount of sodium and electrolytes.
- Should not be carbonated or contain caffeine.
Fluid replacement at Vida-Flo for athletic performance training
Intravenous (IV) hydration provided at Vida-Flo has all the characteristics of the recommended ideal fluid replacement drink. IV hydration provides the body with large volumes of fluids intravenously ensuring 100% absorption and avoiding the discomfort of ingesting large volumes of fluids orally. Vida-Flo provides 1000 mL saline solution bags with various electrolytes called Lactated Ringer. These are equivalent to drinking 2.5 gallons of water.
Vida-Flo fluids provide necessary electrolytes (such as sodium, potassium, and calcium), nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals in a carefully balanced formula for athletic training. Vida-Flo helps increase the length of a workout, improves stamina, decreases recovery time, accelerates healing, and eliminated the risk of dehydration.