It is often something that is overlooked or dismissed during endurance or intense physical activity, but hydration is incredibly important to performance and good health. As a general rule, for low to moderate exercise under 60 minutes water is sufficient to keep the body hydrated. For exercise over 60 minutes, electrolyte replacement is required. Having a drinking schedule is not recommended as this can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, which essentially saturates the body with water, resulting in a rapid drop in sodium levels. Hyponatremia can be very serious resulting in decreased conscious levels, seizures and comas. Drinking to thirst is a good rule to follow, but don’t wait until you are thirsty, as by that stage you are already dehydrated. This article explains why hydration is important for athletic performance.
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