Hydration and sports: water as a fundamental ally

If you practice sports, you know how important it is to hydrate properly before, during and after exercising. Water is essential for your bodily functions, in particular for the cardiovascular system, thermoregulation, the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction.

But do you also know what type of water to drink and how much? What are the benefits of filtered water for your health and sports performance? In this article we will explain everything you need to know about hydration and sports, and introduce you to Laica products that can help you drink better.

1 - Why is it important to drink water during sports?


When we exercise, our body produces heat and sweat to keep our body’s temperature within physiological limits. This leads to a loss of water and minerals (primarily sodium and chlorine, but also potassium, calcium and magnesium) which must be replenished to prevent dehydration.

In fact, dehydration can have negative effects on both health and sports performance, such as:

  • A reduction in heat dispersion capacity, increasing the risk of hyperthermia or heat stroke
  • A reduction in tissue oxygenation, with decreased fatigue resistance and muscle power
  • Impaired cognitive functions, with a loss of concentration, coordination and reactivity
According to several studies, a fluid loss of 2% of the body mass can reduce athletic performances by 10-20%, whereas a loss of more than 5% can seriously damage health.

2 - How much water should you drink during sports?


The quantity of water to drink during sport depends on many factors, including the type, duration and intensity of exercise, environmental conditions, fitness level, body weight and individual level of perspiration.
There is no universal rule, but some general guidelines can be adapted to specific situations.
Generally speaking, it is recommended that you:

  • Drink at least 500 ml of water in the two hours prior to exercising, to start out well hydrated
  • Drink 150-250 ml of water every 15-20 minutes during exercise to compensate for loss due to perspiration
  • Drink at least 500 ml of water within an hour of finishing exercise, to replenish the water balance

To calculate how much water to drink with greater accuracy, you can weigh yourself before and after exercising and drink 1.5 litres of water for every kilogram of weight lost.

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3 - What type of water should you drink during sports?

Not all waters are alike, and certain characteristics can have an effect on the quality of hydration and sports performance.

Particular attention should be paid to:

  • Osmotic pressure, which determines the rate at which water is absorbed into the body. The ideal water for sports should be slightly hypotonic, that is, with an osmotic pressure inferior to that of the blood, to promote rapid rehydration without causing gastrointestinal disturbances. Hypertonic water, on the other hand, can slow absorption and lead to dehydration.
  • The fixed residue, which indicates the quantity of minerals dissolved in water. The ideal water for sport should have a low fixed residue, less than 500 mg/l, to avoid stressing the kidneys and altering the electrolyte balance. On the other hand, water with a high fixed residue can cause water retention, bloating and kidney stones.
  • The water’s pH, which indicates its acidity or alkalinity. The ideal water for sports should have a neutral or slightly alkaline pH, between 7 and 8, to counteract the acidification of the body caused by exercise and promote muscle recovery. Water that is too acidic or alkaline, however, can interfere with the normal functioning of cells and enzymes.

4 - What are the benefits of filtered water for sports?

smiling family drink on the sofa

Filtered water is an excellent choice for those who practise sports, as it offers numerous advantages over tap water or bottled water.

The benefits of filtered water include:

  • Reduced chemical, biological and organoleptic contaminants in tap water, which can jeopardise water quality and an athlete’s health. A simple tap filter, however, removes or reduces substances such as chlorine, pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, viruses, algae, mould, sand, rust and bad odours, ensuring purer and safer water.
  • The reintegration and preservation of minerals essential for the body’s well-being, which can be lost through sweating. In fact, filters maintain the minerals naturally found in mains water, such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, which carry out important functions for healthy bones, muscles and the heart.
  • Economic savings and environmental protection compared to bottled water, which consumes large amounts of plastic and energy. Filtered water, on the other hand, allows you to always have quality water at a lower cost, reducing waste production and CO2 emissions.

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