We have already covered the importance of good hydration not only in summer but also in winter. And if you exercise regularly hydration becomes even more important.
Hydration and exercise
Studies have shown that if you lose 2% of your body weight in fluids, it is already enough to experience a decrease in performance. So for a 70 kg athlete that would be 1.4 kg in fluids. That might sound like a lot but think about how much you sweat during exercise. If you don’t replenish fluids you lose during exercise, your intestines don’t absorb fluids as efficiently. As a result you might feel bloated and sick after exercise. Dehydration of greater than 2% loss of body weight increases the risk of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastro-intestinal problems during exercise.
Re-hydration and alkaline water during and after exercise
There have been several studies indicating that alkaline water has better hydrating properties compared to water with a pH of 7 or lower. Here’s a brief summary of three studies that looked at the relationship of consuming alkaline water and hydration levels during and after exercise.
For the first study one group of combat sports athletes drank alkaline water for three weeks and the second group drank standard table water. After three weeks both groups had to perform a set of exercises including rest periods. During the rest periods athletes were examined and blood and urine samples were collected. The group who had drunk alkaline water showed better hydration levels. In addition, they had a better anaerobic performance (= performance at a high intensity) and their acid-base balance appeared to be better than the one from the control group.
Another study focused on re-hydration after exercise. It found that the blood viscosity of athletes who drank alkaline water after exercise was lower. That means that the blood was more “watery” which indicates that the athletes were better hydrated than the control group who drank standard purified water.
A third study examined how long it took cyclists to re-hydrate after strenuous exercise. It showed that the ones drinking alkaline water had significantly less urine output within the 3 h recovery window. This is an indication that the water is retained in the blood leading to faster and more complete re-hydration compared to the control group.
All three studies looked at different athletes and different effects of alkaline water on hydration levels during and after exercise but they all showed that alkaline water helps to re-hydrate better than standard tap or spring water.
A study unrelated to exercise also showed better hydration levels in healthy adults when drinking alkaline water but indicated that the effects were only measurable after a one week period of drinking alkaline water. Athletes in the first study also had consumed alkaline water for a three week period before the study started. Both those findings indicate that drinking alkaline water as the water of choice will help to benefit the most from the re-hydrating properties of alkaline water.
Links to studies: