Despite the best of exercise intentions, research from the Natural Hydration Council reveals that almost a quarter of the nation only exercises either once or twice a month – if at all, and that 12% of all men surveyed admit to never exercising or participating in sports. For those who are exercising, almost 80% of respondents forget to drink water before exercise, despite it being one of the healthiest ways to hydrate, and the most suitable drink for the majority of recreational sports-participants. A further 60% don’t remember to consider their hydration levels at all after exercise and almost 30% aren’t packing water in their sports bag.
Water performs crucial roles in the body such as carrying nutrients and waste products between major organs, helping regulate body temperature, lubricating moving parts, and acting as a shock absorber. In addition, physical and cognitive performance can suffer when hydration is poor, especially in hot, humid conditions or when exercise is prolonged[i].
For more information on the importance of healthy hydration for exercise, see the Hydration and Exercise factsheet at http://naturalhydrationcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Hydration-and-Exercise.pdf
Be Drink Smart
With New Year health resolutions in full swing, the Government’s new Change4Life advertising campaign highlights the levels of hidden fat and sugar in everyday food and drink, including ‘up to 17 cubes of sugar in a 500ml bottle of cola[ii].
To help understand the importance of healthy hydration, the Natural Hydration Council, in conjunction with the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has created two Healthy Hydration Glasses[iii]. The handy tools for adults and children (aged 4-13) can be used as a guide to help people choose a balance of drinks for themselves or their children.
[i] Maughan RJ et al. (2010) Dehydration and rehydration in competitive sport. Scand J Med Sci Sports 20 Suppl 3:40-7.