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.’’