Article #11 - Hydration and Fluid Loss for Hockey
Maintaining fluid balance, avoiding dehydration, is an important factor in preserving: performance, concentration, skill level, and body temperature regulation.
Sweat is your body’s natural way of getting rid of heat generated by exercise. Sweat rates are affected by such factors as genetics, size, fitness level, intensity, and air temperature.
During exercise fluid is lost in sweat which can place the athlete in fluid imbalance. Unless the athlete replaces these losses, performance will be affected.
What Should You Drink
In most situations water is a great source of fluids to aid in replacing sweat loss. Water should be cool but not cold and should be available during all times to ensure proper hydration.
Sport drinks are also helpful in replacing sweat loss. For practices or games lasting longer than an hour, sport drinks supply a source of carbohydrates (fuel for the muscles and brain), electrolytes (minerals lost in sweat) and fluids. Sport drinks also aid the athlete in consuming the recommended amount of carbohydrates (30-60g per hour) required during practice or games.
|Homemade Sport Drink Recipe
¼ c of sugar
¼ tsp of salt
¼ cup of hot water
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
3 ½ c of cold water
1. In a pitcher, dissolve sugar, salt, & hot water
2. Add juice and remaining water
3. Keep chilled
Nutrition information- 250 ml- 50 calories 12g Carbohydrates, 110ml Sodium
Reference- Nancy Clarkes Sport Nutrition Guidebook
Energy drinks are seen as a quick source of compact energy, however they should be avoided.
Energy drinks are;
High in caffeine which can cause such side effects as headaches, stomach or intestinal upset, anxiety, insomnia, increase heart rate, and increased blood pressure
Carbonated which supply a false sense of fullness resulting in low food consumption. Consume adequate food is essential for fueling muscles for training/games.
High in calories.
Strategies to Replace Fluid Loss
As mentioned, fluid loss is very individual with many factors affecting your sweat rate. Knowing this, the following will aid you in designing your fluid replacement strategy.
1. Drink fluids with each meal. Try milk, chocolate milk, smoothies, water, and fruit juice.
2. Keep a supply of fluids on hand, especially during warm weather. Carrying a water bottle in your backpack can help you have fluids wherever you are.
3. Get a feel for your sweat loss. Try this simple calculation to determine your fluid demands. During a practice or game measure your pre-game and post-game weight (kg) and determine the amount of fluids you consumed during your game (ml).
Using these measurements, calculate:
Fluid(sweat rate) Loss (ml per hour)= 1000 (pregame weight – Postgame weight) + fluid consumed /hours exercised
This equation will help determine the amount of fluid loss during training/game. Using this number, design a strategy to aid you in limiting fluid loss and thus improve your performance. This calculation should be performed at various times throughout the regular season as sweat rate is affected by intensity, duration and fitness level.
Note- Athletes should avoid a weight loss during exercise of greater than 2% of body mass.
4. Rehydrate at a tolerable pace. Don’t consume fluids in large amounts as this may result in stomach upset resulting in altered performance.
6. Parents & Coaches need to ensure their athletes have access to fluids at all times.