Good hydration equals better performance!

How can I improve my sports performance with the right drinking strategy?

Ambient temperature is one of the most important factors that stimulates fluid loss during physical exercise. This is also the reason why sweat production can increase dramatically in warm weather. But why do we have to replenish our fluids during exercise? The main reason for this is that by sweating we maintain our body temperature and don’t overheat. We lose excess heat as sweat droplets evaporate on the skin.

The warmer it is and the higher the humidity, the more sweat you will produce. It goes without saying that the intensity and type of exercise will also determine the amount of fluid loss. However, this does not prevent winter athletes and even swimmers from losing a large amount of moisture. You also lose a lot of moisture through the air you exhale. It is therefore important to replenish the moisture loss sufficiently and to keep the moisture content in your body as balanced as possible. When you don’t drink enough, symptoms of dehydration can occur such as thirst, dry mouth and tongue, headaches, loss of concentration, overheating, less sweating, muscle cramps, less urination, drowsiness, increased heart rate. On the other hand, drinking too much can lead to the blood becoming diluted.

There are several ways to check whether you are drinking enough. First, you can check the colour of your urine. If your urine is clear in colour, then your fluid balance is good. Dark urine indicates some degree of dehydration. In addition, weighing scales are also a useful tool. By weighing yourself before and after exercise, you can determine whether you have taken in enough fluid in proportion to the amount of sweat you have lost during exercise.

Pre-exercise weight (without clothing) - Post-exercise weight (without clothing)

Ideally, you should aim for a value of less than 2%, because if you lose 2% or more moisture during exercise, your performance level will drop by 10-20%. On average, fluid loss during exercise is between 0.5 and 2 litres per hour, but individual differences can be considerable, especially since this is also in part genetically determined. The general advice is to take in at least 500 ml of fluid per hour of exercise. It is important to start drinking immediately you begin exercising and not to wait until you feel thirsty. Especially with prolonged or intensive exercise and exercise in warm weather, it is recommended that you drink 125-150 ml every 15 minutes. So don’t wait until you are thirsty, but measure your fluid loss and employ a drinking strategy.

 

What’s the best thing for me to drink during exercise?

To determine which drink is most suitable during your exercise, it is important to take into account the composition of your sweat. This is because sweat does not consist of 100% water, but also of some important minerals such as sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Certainly the mineral sodium has a very important function in sports drinks; to stimulate the feeling of thirst and to retain moisture in the body for longer so you will have to urinate less. For this reason it is important not only to replenish moisture (water) during exercise when we lose a lot of sweat, such as in warm weather conditions, but also to pay sufficient attention to the intake of those minerals. In particular, athletes who often have white sweat rings on their clothing or skin should pay extra attention to this.

The Etixx range contains 3 different drinks:

1. SPORT HYDRO TAB
Etixx Sport Hydro Tab is a hypotonic electrolyte drink for optimal hydration. An effervescent Sport Hydro Tab (dissolved in 500 ml of water) provides not only moisture but also the 4 most important minerals that we lose through sweat (sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium). Sport Hydro Tab does not contain any extra carbohydrates, so it is suitable for use before/during gentle exercise of less than an hour. Sport Hydro Tab optimally replenishes lost minerals, so it can certainly also be used for more intensive or prolonged exercise of longer than 1 hour. However, it is important to devote sufficient attention to extra carbohydrate intake, for example via an energy gel or energy bar.

 

2. ISOTONIC
Etixx Isotonic contains not only minerals but also carbohydrates and is 100% isotonic. This means that the concentration of dissolved particles (carbohydrates and minerals) in the drink is exactly the same as in our blood. An isotonic drink ensures that fluids, minerals and carbohydrates can be absorbed efficiently and quickly, without causing gastric problems. This makes Etixx Isotonic the most suitable drink to use when exercising for more than 1 hour for optimal hydration and energy. An additional advantage of Etixx Isotonic is its neutral pH value, which reduces the risk of gastrointestinal complaints, and the choice of natural sweeteners. Etixx Isotonic is available in 4 flavours: fruits of the forest, watermelon, orange/mango, and lemon.

 

3. CARBO-GY
Etixx Carbo-Gy is a hypertonic energy drink containing high levels of carbohydrates. 500 ml of Carbo-Gy provides 66 grams of carbohydrates. As a result, the concentration of dissolved particles (carbohydrates) in the drink is greater than in our blood, which inhibits gastric emptying and slows down the absorption of moisture and carbohydrates. For this reason, Carbo-Gy is mainly recommended for the days/hours before exercise such as carbo-loading. Etixx Carbo-Gy is available in 2 flavours: orange and red fruits