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Article # 8302

The Importance of Replacing Lost Fluids

During any period of exertion, the body releases water in the form of perspiration in order to cool itself. If fluids lost through perspiring are not soon replenished, dehydration, heat-related illness, and even death can occur.  The following table relates percent of bodyweight loss to performance and symptoms.

0% - normal heat regulation and performance
1%- thirst is stimulated, heat regulation during work is altered, performance begins to decline
2-3% - further decrease in heat regulation, increased thirst, worsening performance
4% - work performance cut by 20-30 percent
5% headache, irritability, and fatigue
6% weakness, severe loss of thermoregulation
7% collapse is likely unless work is stopped

If your body is going to be exerted continuously for more than 90 minutes, a sports drink may in Fact be necessary to replenish carbohydrates and depleted electrolytes (such as potassium, calcium, and sodium). Drinks with glucose polymers are recommended over those with fructose, because while both sugars are burned for fuel, fructose can cause gastro intestinal problems.

Source: Rice University and Grandjean & Ruud, Clinics in Sports Medicine.