The importance of hydration in sport

Authors: Dan Costin, Mircea Ion-Ene, Adriana Neofit


Department of Individual Sport and Kinetotherapy, Dunărea de Jos University, Galați, Romania


Water is an essential constituent of living matter; and rehydration is very important for athletic performance. The body loses through sweat salt and minerals, together with water; and only water intake causes a decrease in blood sodium concentration that inhibits the nerve center that is responsible for the triggering of thirst. The aim of the study was to identify the relevant aspects of hydration in sport. The loss of 25% of the body water is incompatible with survival; and a decrease in body fluids of only 2%, a drop that is not even perceived as thirst, determines a reduction in exercise capacity by 15%, a highly significant percentage when talking about sports. Moreover, dehydration is highly correlated with fatigue.

Regarding the amounts of liquid that must be managed in a training session, they differ depending on the amount of fluid loss in each athlete. The most accurate determination method is to weigh the athlete at the beginning and at the end of train­ing sessions; the weight variation (considering the liquids ingested during exercise) representing the amount of fluid loss. The amount of liquid that must be ingested to balance the proportion of water is 1.5/1 to 1.5 liters of fluid intake per 1 liter of liquid loss.

Keywords: performance, sport, rehydration


The importance of hydration in sport