Warm wa­ter the best way to hy­drate


Drink­ing cold wa­ter dur­ing and af­ter ex­er­cise can be an in­ef­fec­tive way to hy­drate, sports sci­en­tists say.

Room tem­per­a­ture flu­ids are ab­sorbed at a much faster rate than an ice cold liq­uids.

Healthy Food Guide nu­tri­tion­ist Claire Turn­bull said drink­ing wa­ter at or slightly be­low 15 de­grees Cel­sius was gen­er­ally the most ef­fec­tive way to hy­drate.

Ath­letes com­pet­ing at the high­est level al­ready used the ‘‘warm wa­ter the­ory’’ to op­ti­mise on field per­for­mance.

Auck­land Blues doc­tor Stephen Kara said bot­tles run out to play­ers on the field were al­most al­ways served at ‘‘room tem­per­a­ture’’.

The Mt Al­bert res­i­dent said cold flu­ids were only used when play­ing in hot tem­per­a­tures to help cool body tem­per­a­ture.

‘‘Fluid type is judged by palata­bil­ity and du­ra­tion of ex­er­cise, but we do use cold flu­ids and slushies in some in­stances for heat con­trol.’’

The Blues played their fi­nal match of the Su­per Rugby sea­son against the Sun­wolves in Tokyo where tem­per­a­tures were in ex­cess of 40C in­side the sta­dium.

How­ever it was not just rugby’s elite that the the­ory ap­plied to, the same method of hy­dra­tion could ap­ply at am­a­teur level, Turn­bull said.

‘‘It all de­pends on the time and in­ten­sity of a work­out, but for the ca­sual trainer putting in around 30 min­utes of medium level ex­er­cise, wa­ter at 15C is both palat­able and the most ef­fec­tive way to hy­drate,’’ she said.

Though sports drinks had their place in high level sport and ex­er­cise, the big­gest mis­con­cep­tion around hy­dra­tion was that sports drinks were suit­able for ev­ery­one, Turn­bull said.

‘‘You have to re­mem­ber that they have a lot of sugar and salt in them so for the av­er­age per­son go­ing to gym to lose weight or get in shape, they aren’t good.’’

‘‘We see all the ath­letes drink­ing them and they are so read­ily avail­able. I have even seen them be­ing run out to kids foot­ball matches af­ter 30 min­utes of run­ning around. A slice of or­ange and glass of wa­ter is more than ad­e­quate.’’

The idea that eight glasses of wa­ter a day was suf­fi­cient hy­dra­tion had ’’no sci­ence be­hind it’’, Turn­bull said. The colour of ones urine through­out the day was the best gauge.

‘‘Pass­ing pale urine sev­eral times a day is the eas­i­est way to mon­i­tor ones hy­dra­tion level.’’

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