Posted on Mon Dec 28 2020
Fluids are essential for optimal performance and play a vital role in carrying out several functions within the body like transporting nutrients and oxygen to the brain & muscles, maintaining body temperature, removing waste products, joint lubrication & absorption of nutrients. Your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, nerves and muscles cannot function correctly without adequate water.
"Brain gets affected due to poor hydration and can lead to shrinkage. Imagine you are playing a match and not able to think & concentrate. You are not able to execute your shots because muscle response and coordination are poor or you are not able to compete because of cramps."
Badminton is high-intensity sport and being played indoor makes choosing the right hydration strategy much more significant. Badminton players sweat rate increases while playing in hot climates, high temperature & humidity and since they are playing indoor, the evaporative cooling decreases, leading to a higher danger of dehydration if cautious attention is not given to fluid intake.
When athletes sweat they lose out on liquids. 2% drop in body water decreases performance as the brain stops functioning properly, muscles don’t get enough nutrients and the lactic acid clearance from the body is slow. It also results in fatigue and a higher risk of injury.
Reviewing Hydration Level
Thirst is a poor indicator of hydration level. You may already be dehydrated when you are thirsty, having lost as much as 1 to 2 percent of the water content of your body. There are 2 simple methods to measure your hydration levels
(A) Urine Color
Check the color of your urine. It tells about the hydration level in the body and hydration requirement.
(B) Weigh Measurement
Weigh a player before the training session. Record the values. Now, weigh the player post training session. Remember to remove all the wet clothes & put on the dry clothes. The player should be hydrating equivalent to the weight loss. For Example 2 kgs of weight loss = Minimum 2 liters replenished.
"When athletes drink water, infact, it has a counter effect as salt and minerals get dissolve in the water, leaving athletes more DEHYDRATED! Water is most suitable for training session under 1 hour."
Type of fluids
Water does not contain electrolytes, glucose or sugar and decreases the salt concentration in the blood. So when athletes drink water they don’t get any nutrients from it to help their training. Infact , it has a counter effect as salt and minerals get dissolve in the water, leaving athletes more DEHYDRATED! Water is most suitable for training session under 1 hour.
(b) Sports Solution
A specially designed sports solution which contains approximately 6-8 % glucose and 5:1 ratio of sodium to potassium is ideal for athletes. If you ever have tasted your sweat- it’s salty because it contains sodium. The Indian gene loses five times as much sodium as potassium, while a foreign athlete loses three times as much sodium as potassium. So the foreign sports drinks which are designed while keeping in mind the specific requirements of foreign athletes will not be suitable for an Indian athlete.
Type of sports solutions
Sports solutions contain water, carbohydrates and electrolytes. Water is the primary component in sports solutions, electrolytes are present in the form of sodium, potassium & chloride whereas Carbs are present in the form of glucose, fructose & sucrose. Sports drinks must contain both carbohydrate and sodium in order to encourage both fluid absorption and retention.
(1) Hypotonic Sports Solution
It usually contains upto 4% carbohydrates. It is less concentrated than human blood & can quickly be consumed by the bloodstream. A large quantity of the solution can easily be drunk. Though provides a lesser amount of energy, It still keeps an athlete hydrated. This solution is ideal for badminton players as they have average energy requirement and high fluid requirements. It is suitable for hydration during training days.
(2) Isotonic Sports Solution
Contains 6-8% carbohydrates. It is similar in concentration to human blood & is consumed by the body as quickly as water. It quickly provides energy to the body. It is beneficial for shorter duration high intensity exercises where energy is the prime focus without emphasizing much on dehydration. Usually recommended to athletes who sweat aggressively and have lean body mass. It cannot be consumed in large quantities as it can upset the stomach. It is suitable for hydration during match days.
(3) Hypertonic Sports Solution
It generally contains more than 8% carbohydrates. It delivers calories and micronutrients quickly and effectively into the bloodstream. It is ideal to use this drink immediately post training. This drink is preferred by QUA Nutrition to be able to enhance fluid uptake.
Hydration practice during training days is very crucial as it is during this phase that body prepares itself for the competition ahead.
(A) Training Days:
Pre Training: 250 ml, 2 hours prior to training.
During Training: 125-250 ml, every 15 minutes.
Post Training: 1L for every 1 kg lost during training.
(B) Match Days:
Pre Match: 300ml-500ml, 2 hours before the match.
During Match: Ideally 200-250 ml, every 20 minutes. As practically it is hard to keep maintain hydration log during matches, players should develop a habit of sipping water whenever they can during matches. Sipping and not gulping.
1L for every 1 kg lost during match.
(C) Rest Day
Hydrate with plain water. Even on your rest days you will lose fluids as your metabolic activity will remain increased due to intense training throughout the week. Try to consume 2-3 lts on your rest days. Do not gulp down water in one go. Have a personalized bottle for yourself & keep sipping through it for the entire day. This will also help you to keep a log of your water intake.
No one size fits all. The hydration requirement of each athlete is different. Factors like weather conditions, exercise intensity & pre training hydration levels have a role to play. We have done hydration analysis for thousands of athletes at QUA Nutrition clinics and their sweat loss varies. It is safe to assume that loss of salt and sweat is customized. Individualized hydration plans improve performance outcomes. Athletes should seek professional guidance to plan out a right hydration strategy for their sport. Only an expert sports nutritionist understands the importance of the presence of certain other elements in water for performance. A team of sports nutritionist at QUA Nutrition can be reached on 9743430000.
Caution: Energy drinks are not sports drinks
A lot of athletes gets confused between an energy drink and sports drink. Sugar is the biggest enemy for any athlete if its intake is not balanced correctly. Any beverage which contains more than 10% of sugar is considered to be an energy drink. So aerated beverages, sodas, juices (like mango, lime, etc.) all fall under the energy drink category. When an athlete consumes any energy drink, it creates sudden insulin spike in the body and for a short duration of period feels energetic, however, the insulin spike is soon followed by insulin spike drop, leaving behind the athlete dull, lethargic and fatigued. This is not desirable in an athlete as they need to constantly maintain their energy & focus for higher performance.