Water plays a crucial role in athletic performance, and dehydration adversely affects performance.
As a matter of fact, water affects athletic performance more than any other nutrient, and dehydration is the number one cause of performance-related decline.
For most of us — in most situations — water (consumed in ample quantities) is all we need to keep us hydrated.
Consuming adequate fluids before, during, and after training and competition is essential to optimal strength training, endurance aerobic exercise, and athletic performance.
There are, however, situations in which electrolyte replacement is warranted:
- Hot, humid environmental conditions
- High-intensity, physically rigorous activity
- Extended duration of activity (45-60 minutes, or more)
Fluid replacement may also depend on the athlete, him- or herself, as there may be differences in ideal fluid replacement among and between athletes.
Any of these situations, alone or in combination, may precipitate a need for something more than water. Sweat-induced fluid loss can create an electrolyte deficit — including sodium, (and, to a lesser extent) potassium, and magnesium.
Here’s some insight from Craig A. Horswill, PhD titled, Making Your Fluids Work Harder When You Work Hard.
Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!