Building A Better Future For women's Soccer In Mayo 

Keeping Topped Up

The findings of scientific research overwhelmingly indicate that
sports drinks containing electrolytes (particularly sodium) and a
low carbohydrate concentration (4-8%), improve performance
more effectively than plain water. Research has demonstrated
that such sports drinks are more effective at restoring bodily
fluid levels, whilst at the same time having the additional
benefit of supplementing the bodies limited stores of
Much of this research has been conducted using exercise bouts
lasting an hour or longer. Research findings confirm that
ingestion of carbohydrate solutions results in improved exercise
performance in such long duration activities. However there is
a growing body of evidence indicating that players and athletes
involved in shorter duration (less than an hour) and
intermittent, high intensity activities (for example, tennis and
soccer) may also benefit from simultaneous fluid carbohydrate replenishment
The importance of adequate fluid intake in order to maintain
performance should not be underestimated. The primary
benefit of fluid ingestion during exercise is that it helps to
maintain cardiac output. Thereby maintaining adequate blood
flow to both the working muscles (providing the oxygen
necessary for energy metabolism), and to the skin facilitating a
high rate of heat removal and therefore preventing excessive
storage of body heat.
An additional consequence of intense exercise is a gradual
depletion of the body’s fuel stores.
The inclusion of low concentrations of carbohydrate in sports
drinks can serve to offset such losses and therefore may serve
to prolong exercise duration and maintain exercise intensity.
The inclusion of sodium is recommended as it enhances the
palatability of the drink, maintains thirst and promotes greater
fluid retention.
• Practice drinking during training to become
accustomed to drinking fluids while exercising.
• Make sure you are fully hydrated prior to competition
or training by ensuring a high fluid intake in the days
prior to competition.
• Thirst alone is not a good indicator of fluid
requirements. Typically sports people tend to replenish
1/3 to 2/3 of sweat losses.
• When exercising it is important to drink early and
often. Research demonstrates that dehydration can
occur in as little as 20 minutes. Drinking when
dehydrated may cause gastrointestinal distress.
•Water is not the optimum hydration drink. Water
effectively reduces thirst and stimulates urine
Dehydration occurs when fluid loss is not replaced by fluid intake. As body fluid levels are reduced blood plasma volume decreases.
This means that there is less blood available to maintain vital oxygen supplies to the working tissues of the body, as a result the heart
must work harder to fulfil the body’s oxygen demands. Also there is now less blood available to fulfil the cooling function of
transporting heat from the body’s core to its surface. Therefore as an individual begins to dehydrate their ability to regulate heat
declines resulting in further sweat loss and an ever-worsening dehydration condition. Dehydration, in cases of extreme heat and
chronic fluid deprivation can be fatal, although during athletic activities such occurrences are extremely rare. What is of more
immediate concern to the athlete is the fact that physical abilities deteriorate in conjunction with dehydration, resulting in premature
fatigue. Sweat losses of as little as 2% of body weight have been demonstrated to adversely affect athletic performance (see Table 1).
Sports drinks are commercially available preparations
designed to promote rapid fluid and carbohydrate
replacement, thereby enhancing exercise performance
The primary benefit of water replacement during exercise is
that blood volume is maintained, facilitating the efficient
transfer of heat from the body’s core to the skin, thereby
preventing excessive storage of body heat. Maintaining
optimum blood volume is also essential in facilitating the
efficient supply of oxygen to the working muscles. There is
an additional cooling benefit if the ingested liquid is cooler
than body temperature. But water is not the only constituent
of sweat nor is it the only limited bodily resource depleted
during exercise, therefore is it reasonable to expect water to
be the ideal fluid replacement beverage?
• Monitor weight before and after exercise. For each kilo
of weight lost drink 1.2 to 1.5 litres of fluid
• Urine should be pale in colour (except first thing in
the morning)
• Thirst is an unreliable indicator of fluid requirements,
therefore carry a drinks bottle with you at all times and
drink regularly.
• Avoid alcohol drinks (especially spirits) and caffeine
based drinks such as tea, coffee and coke.
Table 1
P e r c e n t  o f  B o d y  We i g h t  L o s s
(1) Thirst Threshold, and threshold for impaired
exercise thermoregulation leading to
decrement in physical work capacity in less
trained players.
(2) Stronger thirst, vague discomfort and sense of
oppression, loss of appetite.
(3)Dry mouth, increasing haemoconcentration,
reduction in urinary output.
(4) Marked decrement in physical work capacity
(5) Difficulty in concentrating, headache,
(6) Severe impairment in exercise temperature
regulations, increased respiratory rate leading
to tingling and numbness of extremities
(7)Likely collapse if combined with
heat and exercise