A recent study investigated how drinking cold water affects thermoregulation and performance in three areas:
- Endurance (bicycle time to exhaustion).
- Strength (a 60% of one-repetition maximum (1RM) bench press to exhaustion).
- Power (a single broad jump).
The Secret to Better Hydration:
Colder water (39° F) is better for both performance gains and keeping you and your clients going in hot conditions for longer. This is true both before and during the exercise session, which is especially important for longer workouts.
Eric Goulet (2012) asserts in a Nutrition Reviews article that hydration strategies are more important when endurance exercise exceeds one hour. Athletes should stay hydrated to avoid losing more than 3% of their starting weight and should drink 5-10 mL/kg of body weight. Previous research has shown that a 3% reduction in body weight is all that is required to significantly reduce performance.
Water consumption per day:
A simple calculation of bodyweight multiplied by 0.55 equals the amount of water a woman should drink in ounces on a daily basis to maintain normal, adequate hydration. A woman weighing 110 pounds, for example, should drink 60.50 oz. (110 x.55) of water per day. If you engage in strenuous activities that cause more sweating, such as long-distance running or exercising in extreme heat, increase the water amount by multiplying your body weight by 0.66.
The type of fluid used to hydrate should be determined, at least in part, by the length of the event.
Pre-loading with an electrolyte solution two hours before an endurance event or long-duration workout is recommended by the American Council on Exercise, followed by a switch to water immediately before starting. Be cautious not to overhydrate to the point of experiencing stomach cramps, which are often caused by a spasm of the thoracic tendons. Water is all that is required if the event or workout lasts less than an hour. If the event lasts 60 to 90 minutes, electrolyte replacement is recommended. Electrolytes and carbohydrates should be replenished if the event lasts 90 to 120 minutes. And, if the event or workout lasts longer than two hours, you should probably consider using all of the previously mentioned items. Plus some amino acids, especially branched-chain amino acids, if glycogen depletion is expected (Antonio and Stout, 2008).
Remember to drink cold fluids every 15 to 20 minutes to stay cool during hot and strenuous workouts.
The Content is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions about a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider.