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Having good hydration in summer during physical activity: the essential information to know

For our body to function properly, water is vital. We are constantly told that we must drink often! This advice is even more topical with the strong heat of the summer period. Thus, staying well hydrated during sport in summer becomes essential. Did you know that dehydration in athletes causes a significant drop in performance and can lead to injuries? Immerse yourself in this article to learn all about the benefits of water, in order to stay in good shape and active this summer!

Stay well hydrated during sport in summer to optimize your performance

The importance of drinking often for the body

For people who continue to practice sport even during long holidays, consuming water is essential. The most hydrated parts of our body are the blood (83%), kidneys (83%), lungs (79%), heart (79%), brain (75%) and muscles (73%) . A human is made up of about 60% water, which corresponds to more or less 42 liters for someone weighing 70 kilos.

In short, without water, we are not much! Under normal conditions, it is recommended that an adult consumes 2 to 2.5 liters of water per day, of which at least half is provided by water in the form of a drink.

Here is an example of the distribution of water intakes in a typical day:

– In the morning on rising: 1 to 2 glasses of water.

– During breakfast: 1 hot drink (coffee, tea, herbal tea, etc.).

– During the morning: ½ liter of water.

– During the meal: 3 to 4 glasses of water.

– During the afternoon: ½ liter of water.

– During dinner: 3 to 4 glasses of water.

Obviously, when the long summer days set in, or according to the physical activity, the quantity drunk must be adapted. The needs will not be the same in a sedentary person in a cool environment as in an athlete training intensely.


Which water is “good” for the body?

Sport and hydration: the winning combo ! Indeed, for the athlete, water is the only essential drink. During physical exertion, the body loses its quantity of water through perspiration. This loss of water, especially during the summer heat, must absolutely be rebalanced by a supply of beverages. But how to hydrate well and adapt your hydration to the effort?

Depending on the practice, you should know that sweating can cause 1 to 2 liters of water to evacuate per hour of intense activity! It is therefore recommended that an athlete drink at least 1 additional liter per day, depending on his activity. To maintain a good fluid balance, swallowing 1 to 2 glasses of water at room temperature every 20 minutes is recommended. It is preferable to opt for an unrefrigerated and non-gaseous liquid, in order to facilitate its absorption. This allows you to fight dehydration and to obtain a good level of performance.

For effective hydration during sport, we recommend:

– Tap water: drinkable, it meets control standards. Its taste varies from place to place, which can sometimes displease. It remains good for sport and physical performance.

– Spring water: from underground water tables and bottled at the source, its composition is variable. It often has health benefits.

– Natural mineral water: coming from underground aquifers and meeting chemical and microbiological standards, it can also be recognized as having a benefit for the body.


Foods that contain a lot of water

Staying hydrated in summer is easy with seasonal vegetables and fruits! Vegetables are very hydrating and help to meet water needs, especially if they are eaten raw. Cucumber is not very nutritious, but has an estimated water content of 97%. A true dietary champion! It is closely followed by lettuce and tomatoes, which contain 93-95%. Next come squash and zucchini with 90-95% water.

Sources of intense hydration, summer fruits such as melon or watermelon contain 90 to 91% water. Citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, orange, etc.) and strawberries have 88 to 90% water. These are real water reserves! Eaten in pieces or sliced, in mixed salads, smoothies or gazpacho, fruits and vegetables are part of our summer diet. What a pleasure to bite into these delicious, juicy and tasty dishes! They allow you to be satiated while meeting your needs, and are a great water supplement needed on a daily basis.

Know how to manage and adapt your drink consumption in the summer season

The adaptation of liquids according to the effort

At any time of the day, you should drink regularly and not wait until you are thirsty to do so. Athletes should remember to bring their bottle of water everywhere with them, especially if it is hot. Warning: being thirsty is already a sign of dehydration! If you yourself are very active, even in summer, know that after a certain time of effort the water is no longer sufficient. You need to add electrolytes and nutrients to it.If you have any doubts and wish to ensure your safety, the advice of a nutritionist or dietician are highly recommended! This is all the more valid when you practice competition! The wrong dosage can indeed lead to dehydration,

To understand this, you have to remember that 1% water loss is equivalent to 10% less athletic performance: it’s proportional!

If you do more than 1h30 of sport in the heat, remember to add to your water:

– glucose (sugar): from 20 to 60 g per litre;

– sodium (salt): less than 1 g per litre;

– potassium gluconate: 1 teaspoon per litre.

To optimize your hydration for endurance, you can boost the flavor of your drink with an aroma to make it more attractive (syrup or small amount of juice). However, it is not recommended to consume very sweet drinks such as nectar or soda, as well as energy drinks containing stimulants.


Simple and effective ingredients to add to water

Sugary exercise drinks make it possible to meet specific energy requirements. They represent a contribution in glucose, therefore in energy directly usable during the effort. Many athletes resort to energy drinks, which are often very sweet and too rich in minerals. It is possible to create your own mixture for sport, based on water, fruit juice, honey, salt… Following the dietary advice of a professional, especially for a person in competition, allows you to know the ideal dosages to respect. According to the intestinal sensitivity and the reactions during the effort, the drink can be modified and readjusted.

In general, sports drinks contain:

– some water ;

– mineral salts (sodium, potassium, magnesium, or even phosphorus, zinc);

– vitamins (B, C, E).

It is necessary here to speak of the principle of osmosis. Osmolarity corresponds to the exchange of water across cell membranes. Water passes freely through the membranes and moves from the hypotonic (least concentrated) medium to the hypertonic (most concentrated) medium. When the two media are isotonic, the movement of water is globally nil. A drink is isotonic when it has a concentration of particles similar to that of blood. A drink is hypotonic when it is less concentrated than blood and it becomes hypertonic when it is more.

During exercise, the moisturizing beverage must be isotonic or slightly hypotonic, but above all not hypertonic, because in this case it will limit rehydration. The isotonic drink helps to promote the supply of water, minerals and nutrients that are eliminated during sport. It optimizes rehydration and promotes good assimilation of the particles necessary for exercise.


The intake and type of beverages according to the sports activity

It is good to drink before, during and after exercise. Before you start your session, drink about two glasses of water. Remember to drink regularly and in small sips during the activity, approximately every 20 minutes. Your water must be at room temperature and easy to put in your mouth (gourd, bottle with cap suitable for sport, camelbak , etc.) After the effort, drinking again every 20 to 30 minutes is recommended. It is better to drink often and in small amounts rather than a whole liter treat! Otherwise, watch out for diarrhea and stomach cramps!

Sweating to lose weight is a very bad idea: it’s even dangerous for your health! If you notice that you lose a lot of weight while you are very active, it is possible that it is because of bad hydration in the sport. During competitions or prolonged athletic sessions, a commercially prepared solution may be beneficial. But beware of the composition of certain drinks in the event of an impoverished or salt-free diet: medical advice is essential. The labeling on the bottle, which is subject to strict regulations, is very useful. Hyperosmolar or excessively carbohydrate drinks are not favorable in the hydration of the athlete, and even less in the event of drug intake!


Pure water is necessary for our body, especially in hot weather. Being well hydrated during sport in summer ensures performance and proper functioning during exercise. Water and sport remain inseparable: you must drink before, during and after the session. Sports drinks and hydration supplements guarantee hydration during exercise while compensating for nutrient deficiencies and losses. They are useful in case of long period of activity. To avoid the risk of dehydration, drinking in summer remains the key!

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