boisson isotonique

Isotonic or hypotonic drink: the best exercise drinks

Isotonic or hypotonic drink: How to choose to maximize your performance?

We often hear to stay well hydrated on a daily basis by drinking at least 1.5 L of water per day. This recommendation is valid for a sedentary adult, but in case of physical activity, the water losses being increased, the needs increase. A water loss equal to 2% of body weight (i.e. 1.5 L of water for a 75 kg adult) leads to a noticeable decrease in physical and mental performance. Proper hydration of the athlete is therefore essential.

How does sport dehydrate us?

During various physical activities, the muscles work and need energy. Their work produces heat that must be removed to maintain body temperature. Perspiration allows this excess heat to be evacuated and contributes to the thermal regulation of the body. Sweat is made up of a mixture of water and minerals (sodium, potassium, chlorine, magnesium, etc.). As perspiration increases during exercise, water and electrolyte losses are therefore greater. The body needs to compensate for these water losses, during physical activity the water needs are therefore greater than the needs at rest. If these increasing water needs are not met, it can lead to moderate dehydration.

In practice, the quantity of sweat produced and the resulting dehydration vary with the intensity of the exercise, the temperature and the humidity of the surrounding air. Dehydration is also influenced by access to water, which may be more or less easy. It is easier for a tennis player to take a break to hydrate than during a football or rugby match, which are the team sports most at risk of dehydration.

The consequences of poor hydration

If the water and electrolyte losses (in particular sodium, chlorine, but also potassium) are not compensated, this can have several consequences: on the muscles, the joints, but also on the concentration.

  • Dehydration has significant consequences on the muscles

The glucose we take in is stored in our muscles as glycogen. It is this glycogen which makes it possible to maintain a prolonged effort and its production consumes water. Proper hydration before exercise is therefore absolutely necessary to maintain significant physical effort.

  • Dehydration leads to a decrease in physical performance

This is particularly visible for endurance practices, or for prolonged efforts (more than 30 seconds). Water losses of 5% or more of body weight during physical activities (which corresponds to an advanced state of dehydration) can reduce work capacity by approximately 30%. Proper hydration after exercise is also essential to replenish glycogen stores and allow the body to provide further effort.

  • Water losses in sweat are accompanied by electrolyte losses

In particular sodium losses. This results in an imbalance, in the muscle cells, between the concentrations of sodium and calcium, the latter becoming too concentrated. The muscle cells then contract involuntarily and durably: this is the cramp.

  • When dehydration is too advanced:

The body no longer regulates its temperature properly. The muscle fibers are then more likely to be damaged (muscle contractures, breakdown, or late onset muscle pain).

Among all these muscles, the heart is subjected to double pain, because the blood gains in viscosity when the dehydration is accentuated: it must therefore provide more effort and its frequency increases in the event of dehydration. This causes much more fatigue and can be dangerous if the temperature is high.

  • Joints subject to dehydration are also prone to more injuries

The lubrication of the cartilage of the joints is ensured by a liquid, the synovial liquid. Severe dehydration can lead to inflammation of the cartilage and lead to joint pain.

  • Finally, the feeling of thirst and heat , and the fatigue they cause cause a drop in concentration which also limits the performance of athletes .

For good hydration during sports

It is necessary to stay well hydrated before, during and after exercise by using a suitable drink , such as an isotonic or hypotonic drink . Water needs vary depending on the person, the sport practiced and the intensity of the effort. You also have to take the climate into account. If the feeling of thirst is less important in winter than in summer, the risk of dehydration is always present. Since cold air is less humid than warm air, it stimulates water loss from the respiratory tract. Summer and winter, don't forget to hydrate yourself regularly!

A few tips for staying hydrated:

  • Do not wait to be thirsty to drink : the feeling of thirst appears when the body is already dehydrated!

  • Have a filled and accessible water bottle , keep it in hand while running, for example

  • Take longer breaks during a workout or take more short breaks

  • Avoid drinking too cold water which can cause stomach cramps

  • Avoid soft drinks during exercise, as they can cause bloating. But you can consume them after the effort, because they will limit the acidification at the level of the muscles.

  • Hydrate with a drink rich in electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium). Indeed, magnesium and potassium help reduce cramps and physical fatigue, potassium also helps maintain cell hydration. Sodium chloride – salt – counteracts dehydration by retaining water in muscle tissue.

  • During exercise: split water intake to avoid being bloated, i.e. often drink small amounts of water, around 100 to 200 mL every 15 – 20 min to maintain continuous hydration

If you want to know your water needs during your sports practice, you can perform a simple test: weigh yourself before and after training and note the amount of liquid consumed during training. The difference in mass after – before – mass of fluid consumed will give you the mass of water lost during exercise and will allow you to know the volume of fluid needed after exercise to return to a good level of hydration.

The basic average fluid requirements, when the body is at rest, are 25 to 35mL/kg/day in adults. They are increased with physical activity, which increases daily energy expenditure.

Hydratis: Optimize your hydration

With the Hydratis lozenges, you have a drink at your disposal designed to provide the body with what it loses during exercise, in particular the mineral salts essential for the proper functioning of the body.

Indeed, Hydratis pastilles accelerate hydration by facilitating the absorption of water by the body. With their formulation rich in potassium, magnesium and sodium chloride, they help maintain good hydration and reduce fatigue and cramps thanks to the creation of an isotonic or hypotonic drink !

To be more efficient, enduring and avoid injuries during your sports practice, we advise you to put 2 Hydratis pellets in your water bottle and thus be well hydrated throughout your practice.


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