Summer is just around the corner and as the temperature heats up, now is the perfect time to visit hydration and its effects on exercise performance.
Our body is over 60% water making hydration essential for everyone, all the time. Water plays many important roles in our body including maintaining blood volume, transporting nutrients, getting rid of waste products and importantly, regulating our body temperature.
During exercise, our body cools itself by sweating to lose heat. Sweat loss varies depending on the intensity and duration of exercise and by the ambient temperature and humidity. It is also highly individual – some people sweat no more than 500ml/hour, where others (and you’ll know who you are), sweat upwards of 3.5L/hour.
It’s important to know what sort of sweater you are and develop a personalised hydration plan to prevent dehydration, as we know dehydration affects performance. It increases your heart rate, impairs heat...
Caffeine is a widely used, socially acceptable stimulant.
It is found naturally in the leaves, beans and fruits of a variety of plants. The most common dietary sources of caffeine include tea, coffee, cola, energy drinks, chocolate and supplemented sports foods like gels and shots. It is rapidly absorbed and transported to all body tissues and organs where it exhibits a complex range of actions. Effects include the mobilisation of fat from adipose tissue (yes please!) and the muscle cell, changes to muscle contractility, lowering the perceived rate of exertion (how hard you feel you’re working), effects on the heart muscle and stimulation of adrenaline (our fight or flight hormone).
The major benefit of taking caffeine on exercise performance appears to be achieved by central nervous system effects, which can help reduce the perception of effort and fatigue, effectively allowing you to train or race harder and longer.
There is a solid body of...