Fluid intake during endurance sports
This year, too, the Tour de France puts cyclists through their paces. 3521 km total length, daily stages of up to 220 km and mountain stages with 4600 metres of elevation gain. These figures alone show how hard the Tour will be for the riders. At the peak of the season in France, fluid intake will again play a central role. With insufficient fluid intake, the strain feels harder than it actually is! This is something that almost every athlete has already experienced.
Sweating is one of the most important mechanisms to prevent the body from overheating. Intense and long endurance units, along with high temperatures, can lead to high sweat loss. Sweat loss varies with the intensity of the strain, surrounding conditions (e.g. climate, height above the sea level), training condition, body weight and other factors between less than 0.5 litres and more than 2 litres per hour of sport.
A lack of fluid or water (dehydration) belongs to the most frequent sources of fatigue and performance drops during longer endurance units. A fluid loss of only 3% of the body weight during sports (referring to the weight before the exercise) can already impair the physical and mental performance – especially in warm temperatures. Therefore, appropriate fluid intake plays an important role before, during and after sports.