Hydration and Rowing Part IA

To follow up on the last post which looked at the need for maintaining hydration and the challenges in rowing we include a look at a few more resources.

From the American College of Sports Medicine

One resource that should be noted is the American College of Sports Medicine, who have produced a "consensus statement" titled "American College of Sports Medicine
Roundtable on Hydration and Physical Activity: Consensus Statements."

Whenever I look for a well-considered scientific position I go to the ACSM who publish the journal "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise."

This paper covers all aspects of hydration including an assessment of how solid the research evidence is for each statement. If you enjoy this level of detail this paper is well worth reading.

Also, from the Gatorade Sport Science Institute:
An article on the Hydration Assessment of Athletes .

The first half of the article is quite technical and applies more to research settings. The final past titled "supplement" though is a practical, even if more technical, look at three issues to consider when assessing hydration: weight, urine, and thirst. There isn't a great deal of new information there from what most coaches preach…but it is much more specific and those who like to dive more deeply into a topic are encouraged to read this.

There is one part worth looking at more - urine. A common adage is that you should "pee clear" as an indication of proper hydration. So often you now see very keen athletes carrying their water bottle everywhere drinking religiously to maintain proper hydration.

So - is this research-based or just a common practice?

Consider USA Track and Field's new recommendations for distance runners - a good caomparison to rowers in training - on hydration.

They now recommend drinking based on thirst. To prevent a newly recognized danger known as hyponatremia. More on that later.

This posting for the Los Angeles Triathlon includes GSI recommendations for proper hydration in endurance athletes.

So - what about the old adage that you should "pee clear"? This paper, and the ACSM position paper,  makes the point that "clear urine" - for some time now an indication for athletes of proper hydration - is an indication of over hydration an a danger sign for hyponatremia. A better indication of proper hydration is urine that is light yellow "like lemonade."

Hydrate to replace the volume of fluid lost in exercise.
Assess hydration status based on thirst, weight and urine colour.
Athletes who travel around all day drinking until they pee clear may actually be harming themselves, or at least setting themselves up for impaired performance.
When exercising for a long duration some intake of electrolytes is important.