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Old 03-02-2011, 05:34 PM   #1
psychomedicHFD
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Water, Water and More Water

As the Summer creeps up on the track season and even the normal everyday bike warrior, it is imperative that we drink water. Not just some water, but a lot of water prior/during/and after a TD. I did some looking around on the internet and found some really good articles. Not only do we need to drink a lot of water but also the diet we eat before/during a TD to get the max energy/supplements our body needs to deal with the strain this sport puts on us. Now I am no Diet Guru by any means, maybe there is some folks on here that can chime in with helpful hints.

Many athletes dehydrate during competitive events, especially long ones, even when it's not particularly hot. You can't rely on feeling thirsty as a reminder to replace fluid lost through sweating - one of nature's dirty tricks is that exercise suppresses thirst. Dehydration impairs both physical and mental performance in all types and levels of sport, yet it can be avoided (or at least minimised) by appropriate drinking strategies. Before we explain what those are, here's a bit of background physiology.

Exercise produces heat. Prevention of overheating occurs by transfer of heat to the skin by vasodilation of the cutaneous circulation, and by the cooling effect of evaporation of sweat. Exercise causes body fluid losses from moisture in exhaled air as well as from sweating. Although sweat rates are highest under conditions of high-intensity exercise in heat and high humidity, total fluid losses can be appreciable in very prolonged events, whatever the conditions. Unless fluid losses are replaced by drinks, sweating causes progressive depletion of circulating blood volume, leading to hypohydration (commonly called dehydration) and a thickening of blood. This places a strain on the cardiovascular system, with a rise in heart rate in order to maintain adequate blood flow to exercising muscles and vital organs. As blood volume depletes, blood flow to the skin is reduced. As a result, sweating decreases and heat dissipation from the skin is impaired, causing body core temperature to rise, potentially leading to heat stress, collapse and even death.


Even low levels of dehydration have physiological consequences. A loss of 2% bodyweight (just 1kg for a 50kg person) causes an increase in perceived effort and is claimed to reduce performance by 10-20% A fluid loss exceeding 3-5% bodyweight reduces aerobic exercise performance noticeably and impairs reaction time, judgement, concentration and decision making - vital elements in all sports, from pole-vaulting to football.

Concentration as you know is KEY in our sport.

Things to watch out for

Symptoms of dehydration usually begin with thirst and progress to more alarming manifestations as the need for water becomes more dire. The initial signs and symptoms of mild dehydration in adults appear when the body has lost about 2% of it's total fluid. These mild dehydration symptoms are often (but not limited to):

* Thirst
* Loss of Appetite
* Dry Skin
* Skin Flushing
* Dark Colored Urine
* Dry Mouth
* fatigue or Weakness
* Chills
* Head Rushes

If the dehydration is allowed to continue unabated, when the total fluid loss reaches 5% the following effects of dehydration are normally experienced:

* Increased heart rate
* Increased respiration
* Decreased sweating
* Decreased urination
* Increased body temperature
* Extreme fatigue
* Muscle cramps
* Headaches
* Nausea
* Tingling of the limbs

When the body reaches 10% fluid loss emergency help is needed IMMEDIATELY! 10% fluid loss and above is often fatal! Symptoms of severe dehydration include:

* Muscle spasms
* Vomiting
* Racing pulse
* Shriveled skin
* Dim vision
* Painful urination
* Confusion
* Difficulty breathing
* Seizures
* Chest and Abdominal pain
* unconsciousness

This is no joke. Severe dehydration WILL cause Kidney failure and heat stroke.

I know that this is long but it is really important in Texas summer's.

Stay safe and see you guys/gals at the track.

Chris Cullen
Firefighter/Paramedic

Last edited by psychomedicHFD; 03-02-2011 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:41 PM   #2
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STICKY. Great advice.

You are a danger to everyone around you @ the track if you are dehydrated, your body is expelling energy to control body temp and doesn't allow your brain to process your environment as fast...
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Old 03-02-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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Water, Water and More Water

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STICKY. Great advice.

You are a danger to everyone around you @ the track if you are dehydrated, your body is expelling energy to control body temp and doesn't allow your brain to process your environment as fast...
Very true. What is it...going 60mph you travel at 90 ft per sec.? Thats a lot of processing.
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:48 PM   #4
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I stick to water at the track but cant seem to stay hydrated during the summer.
Am I missing something?
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:23 PM   #5
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Even straight track events will kick your in the heat. It will hurt your performance at the least. I have been so whooped I did good to hang on when the nitrous came on.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:28 AM   #6
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i would also add drink an excess of water the day before an event
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:29 AM   #7
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Pay attention to your pee color. The darker it becomes the more water you need.

+1 on drinking water the day before your track day
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:43 AM   #8
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You should hydrate with water 24 hours before the event...it takes 24 hours for all that water to enter your system
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PYROBUG51 View Post
You should hydrate with water 24 hours before the event...it takes 24 hours for all that water to enter your system
Hyrdrate at least 48 hours prior with water- most folks do not drink enough water every day like they should anyway; so if you're one of those people you need to start earlier than 24 hours prior. Consult your doctor too if you have chronic medical issues. Realize that all of this information is generic and won't apply to everyone's situation.

Good information there Chris, hyrdration issues are a consistent problem at track days in Texas! Ronnie Hay bumps his hydration thread every couple of months on the CMRA bbs- it's a good read and open for anyone to view there too.
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomLSTD View Post
Hyrdrate at least 48 hours prior with water- most folks do not drink enough water every day like they should anyway; so if you're one of those people you need to start earlier than 24 hours prior. Consult your doctor too if you have chronic medical issues. Realize that all of this information is generic and won't apply to everyone's situation.
I forgot you were a paramedic LOL but 24 hours easily to get the water in to your system
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:08 AM   #11
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I forgot you were a paramedic LOL but 24 hours easily to get the water in to your system
Meh, that's all debatable. By the time most folks purge all the Coke, Monsters, coffee, fast food, et al out of their system, it takes more than 24 hours to make it to the cellular level properly. I choose to err on the side of caution; I start hydrating for May in January!
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:11 AM   #12
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LOL im hydrating now with a beer for breakfast...
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:11 AM   #13
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LOL im hydrating now with a beer for breakfast at the station...
fixed!
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