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Effects of hydration levels on an athlete's performance

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Introduction

Task 1 Describe the signs and symptoms of hydration levels, including dehydration, hyperhydration and hypohydration. You should describe the physiological and psychological signs and symptoms that will tell an athlete their hydration levels. There are advantages and disadvantages with regards to different energy levels. There are also signs and symptoms to each different level of hydration. Dehydration occurs when the body loses more fluid than it takes in. The signs and symptoms of dehydration are varied as to the severity, at about a 2% loss in fluid the symptoms are: * Thirst- this will diminish your performance as your concentration levels go down. It is common for athletes' performance levels to drop in the last 15 minutes due to a lack of fluid intake. * Loss of Appetite- this will lead to further fatigue and weakness other than that already associated with dehydration. This again will lead to a diminished performance. * Dry Skin- this will cause a problem with regards to heat loss. Heat loss is obtained commonly through sweating and from the sweat droplets evaporating off the skin, however if the skin is dry it will delay the sweating process. ...read more.

Middle

These symptoms are: * Water retention- this is also known as oedema and this is the accumulation of excess water under the skin or in the body cells. This retention of fluid appears as swelling. It causes swelling of the fingers, legs, ankles, feet, abdomen & breasts (in women). * Abdominal bloating- this is a follow on from water retention and is caused by the accumulation of water underneath the cells in the abdominal walls. This appears as swelling. * Breast tenderness (in women) - this is another follow on from water retention and again is caused by the accumulation of water underneath the breast tissue. * Weight gain- this is caused by the cells within the body swelling through water retention; the more water you take on board then the more weight you are going to put on. With various tests and after being questioned and checked by a doctor you may find that you have high levels of aldosterone, which is thought to increase in the presence of stress, high levels of oestrogen(in women), and low levels of magnesium and dopamine. Task 2 Describe the fluid intake you would like the athlete to have during the following periods: Pre event During event/training Post event/training You should also describe what type of fluid intake would be best for their needs. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, because blood plasma thickens when there is a lack of water in it, it makes it harder for the required hormones to reach the surface of the skin and release sweat (the sweat would usually evaporate off the skin taking the heat with it and thus cooling the body down). Your heart rate also increases as a result of dehydration and this puts a stress on your heart to supply more blood around the body. You also have a higher perceived exertion from dehydration, meaning that your think you have worked harder than what you really have- this is a bad thing for athletes who are trying to lose weight, for example, they think they have worked harder and thus lost more weight than what they really have. During hydration it is possible that there will be increased reliance on carbohydrate as a fuel source. An example of dehydration can be seen in the recent F.A Cup Final between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur; Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon both got cramp during extra time. Cramp is a common symptoms of dehydration at a fluid loss of 2% and occurs when not enough oxygen is supplied to required muscles. When a lack of water exists in the blood plasma, the blood struggles to transport enough oxygen to the required muscles fast enough ...read more.

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