Younger and Older Athletes

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Younger and Older Athletes

In young children, adolescents and in older (40+) athletes, we find natural hydration mechanisms (thirst triggers, taste) and heat dissipation functions (skin blood flow and sweat rates) are underdeveloped or diminished, making proper hydration strategies a bigger concern. In these populations cognitive monitoring is generally required.

The other side of the equation starts with “a little bit of knowledge can be dangerous”

This is never more true than in the world of nutrition, and hydration is no exception. In recent years there has been so much attention focused on “water” intake (especially with the increased marketing efforts from makers of bottled water). The average, lightly active person has no trouble replacing the approximate loss of two to three liters of fluids used daily, and it’s often done without drinking one glass of pure water. In spite of this, the average person is exposed to a considerable amount of information/advertising that tells them they require considerably more.

We usually think of dehydration as related to physical exertion, heat stress or illness, but you can get seriously dehydrated without any real effort and under cool conditions. You realize that you’re getting dehydrated when it’s hot and you’re sweating, and even when it is hot and dry and you don’t notice the sweat. But, cold air is dryer than hot air and you can get even more dehydrated in cold weather; compound the low temperature and low humidity with altitude and you can lose 2 quarts an hour without realizing it. Other factors that commonly contribute to dehydrating you further include air conditioning, antihistamines, decongestants, caffeine and alcohol.

All of these cause dehydration and its various effects, beginning with impaired mental acuity … a little slower making quick decisions, forgetting words that you know, transposing terms, errors in work, recreation, sports and everyday activities …. making poor decisions, impaired judgment, stiff aching muscles, headache, irritability …. all before you even feel thirsty … if your mental processes would let you recognize that you are thirsty. Too often, the fact that you are too busy to think about staying hydrated, also causes you to override the thirst reflex. As Ironman Triathlon Champion Scott Tinley said, “You’ve got to keep thinkin’ drinkin’!”

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Hey Everyone, Brendan Brazier is one of only a few professional athletes in the world whose diet is 100 percent Vegan plant-based. He’s a professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of a line of whole food nutritional products called VEGA. He is also a two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion. Information on Brendan: …and on Brendan’s product line including Vega Bars, smoothie mixes, Sport drinks etc. Questions/comments? Post below.
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