Hydration is probably one of the most underlooked aspects of sports. For cyclists, the reminder to stay hydrated is a water bottle hooked to their bike, for runners, a drink is typically in hand. But what about for swimmers?
Sweat is typically not visible on swimmers, because they’re constantly immersed in water. Yet it’s still just as present, as it is on a runner or cyclist. So, why is it important for swimmers to maintain proper hydration at the pool?
Water Is Required by the Body While Exercising
Water is an essential part of normal body function, and is required in the transportation of red blood cells throughout the body, as well as the formation of protein and glycogen. In order for muscles to grow and recover, water is crucial. Hydration also helps regulate the body’s temperature and lubricate joints––both of which are important for swimming.
Without proper hydration, swimmers risk developing cramps both inside and outside of the pool. They can experience early onset fatigue during workouts, poor response times, and an increased risk of injury.
How Swimmers Can Avoid Dehydration In and Out of the Pool
There are many studies available that debate the required amount of water a person should consume daily. A general rule of thumb is to take your body weight, divide it by two, and drink that much water in ounces.
Since swimming takes place in water, it can be difficult to know how much a swimmer is sweating, and how much water they need to drink to stay hydrated. The most accurate way to check your hydration status is to look at your urine output (how much you’re urinating), as well as the color of your urine. Urine that’s a pale yellow color indicates proper hydration, and darker urine indicates someone who is dehydrated.
Know the signs of dehydration:
When in doubt, it’s best to always look out for the telltale signs of dehydration:
If you’re an athlete, you need to always pay attention to your hydration levels to avoid getting injured or dehydrated while out on the field, on the track, in the pool, or on the court.
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