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Triathlete Hydration - Symptoms of Dehydration and How to Stay Hydrated During Triathlons

January 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 152

Triathlons are extremely intense and as a triathlete it is important that you understand proper hydration. Proper hydration can improve how you perform as a triathlete. It also can help decrease your fatigue and as a result you are a healthier athlete. Here is a guide on how to stay properly hydrated to avoid the issues caused by dehydration.

How to Avoid Dehydration

When it comes to your body mass, 70% of it is water. For this reason alone, staying properly hydrated is extremely important. Each day the body needs at least 2 liters of water. This is just to replace what is lost during a normal day and does not include loss when sweating. If you are a triathlete and training for your event, you need to drink even more than this for proper hydration. The amount of water that you need to drink will depend on how intense your workout is and how long it lasts. Remember, better hydration leads to better performance.

The job of fluid:

- Fluid is used to transport energy, hormones, waste, and antibodies through the body. When training, this is important as fluids help flush out the toxins from your body. This includes the lactic acid that can build up while exercising and is the cause of most pain related to exercise.

- Fluids help dilute the waste products in the body

- Regulates temperature of the body

- Lubricates the membranes and surfaces

- Water is a part of all chemical reactions in the body, which is why it is important to keep the body at the optimum levels.


One of the major causes of becoming fatigued is dehydration. Without the proper hydration the body simply has to work harder, which results in becoming fatigued much faster. When your body becomes dehydrated, your performance levels will slip. In addition, if your body becomes too dehydrated a life threatening situation can occur.

There are several signs or symptoms of dehydration that can occur these include, headaches, tiredness, dark urine, weight loss, increased breathing rate, thirst, and dry lips.

With the many dangers of dehydration, it is understandable why proper hydration as a triathlete is extremely important. There are several ways to avoid becoming dehydrated which include:

1. Drinking at least 500 ml of fluid before the event, around an hour or two prior.

2. Drink often and early.

3. Drink about 200 ml of fluid after every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise.

4. Come up with a fluid plan.

5. For events that last an hour to an hour and a half, water is sufficient. However, if the event is longer, the triathlete needs to drink fluids that include electrolytes and carbohydrates in order to replenish your body.

6. If your fluid loss is extremely high, you may need to hydrate quickly and also replace sodium that has been lost. Salty foods and sports drinks are a good way to hydrate quickly.

Hydration is important for a triathlete and by developing a hydration plan you can ensure that you perform at your highest levels for every event.

If you're ready to jump ahead of the competition with your triathlon training, download a free copy of "The 7 Biggest Mistakes Triathletes Make".

Carolyn Elliott is an Ironman Triathlete, an Endurance Swimmer and Long Distance Trail Hiker. She has been a competitive athlete since 1972. She provides triathletes of all levels with her expertise on the sport.

Source: EzineArticles
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