Control sweat to control its hydration

Sweating is a natural and necessary process to help our body cope with high temperatures. With the rise of mercury, the risk of dehydration increases. Don't let the heat (if only?) Of spring put a strain on your efforts, it's time to understand the mechanisms behind the droplets of sweat beading on your forehead.

Why are we sweating?

Whether you run under a bright sun or under the snow, the effort provided by your muscles causes a slight increase in body temperature. With this increase in temperature, the sweat glands are activated and sweat is produced.

Your glands expel fluids to moisten the skin; the sweat produced evaporates quickly, helping you lower your body temperature. When humidity is high, evaporation is less effective and the risk of overheating increases. The more your temperature increases, the more your body will produce sweat to try somehow to bring your temperature back to normal.

So that the blazing sun does not burn your wings

Blood circulation is a determining factor when you run. During exercise, your body delivers oxygen and nutrients to active muscles and exchanges them for metabolic waste that will be eliminated. In the face of strong heat, the equation evolves. Your blood, which is already circulating faster than usual to feed your muscles, must also maintain your body temperature to a reasonable level.

When the body temperature increases, some of this oxygen-rich blood for the muscles needs to be redirected to the skin. By reaching the surface of the skin, your blood is cooled thereby allowing you to maintain a stable temperature. However, your heart rate accelerates because the muscles must always be supplied in order to be able to continue your effort. This is one of the factors that makes running in hot weather more difficult: despite this, it is not enough to maintain an acceptable body temperature; sweat allows it.

sweat

The physiological effects of sweat

While sweat is essential in order not to overheat, excessive sweating can also adversely affect your performance and have consequences for your health. The impact of sweating on performance is noticeable with just 2% of your body mass evacuated through this ; Long-distance runners average 6 and 10% of their body weight as sweat. The impact is not negligible.

Indeed, your body is composed of 60% water, with a third of this figure located in extracellular fluids including plasma. When you sweat, part of the fluids evacuated comes from this extracellular source: the more you sweat, the lower your blood volume. This has the effect of limiting the amount of blood available to feed your muscles and refresh you. With decreasing energy intake and increasing body temperature, your performance is achieved.

It should also be borne in mind that if the sweat is composed mainly of water, it also contains minerals, lactate and urea. This is why the contribution of energy drinks is interesting: not only do they maintain proper hydration but they also make up the non-hydraulic losses of sweat.

Hydration, your savior

You can minimize the deleterious effects of sweat by moisturizing yourself frequently. Before you even go out to run, you must be sure to be hydrated properly. The standard recommendation is 2 to 3 glasses of water within two hours before the race followed by another drink five to ten minutes before you start.

Finally, here are three tips that will help manage your hydration level:

  • Savory Joker: Consume sodium before exercise increases consumption and water retention. Thus, eating a food rich in sodium two hours before exercise will increase your thirst and cause your body to retain more water: the combination of the two effects thus allows better hydration, allowing you to run faster and further. There are several salty sports nutrition products, 
  • During the effort: Being sensitive to your level of hydration is not enough. Indeed, when the body sends you a signal that you are dehydrated (you are thirsty), it is already too lateyou are already on your way to dehydration. If you tolerate them, isotonic drinks are interesting because while you hydrate, they also bring you electrolytes that your body needs after having sweated a lot.
  • After the effort: Despite all the world's attention to your hydration and good preparation, it is common to finish your session at a certain level of dehydration. If you are sweating heavily, it may be difficult to drink enough fluid (while running) to make up for the loss. To better understand the amount of sweat released during your effort, there is a simple technique: weigh yourself before and after the race. By thus having knowledge of the mass of sweat generatedyou can relate it to your body mass and have a more accurate idea of ​​how much water your body needs during exercise.
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