Nutritional Modulation of Adaptations to Resistance Training: Default vs. Default Hydration Ad Libitum

It is truly notable that with the amount of scientific work published about the hydration that an endurance athlete should perform during their training or competitions, there are still strong controversies in the scientific community about a key issue, how much fluid the athlete should drink during exercise. effort?.

It is clear that since the 60's after the creation of the first sports drink, publications on optimal hydration to follow during effort have increased significantly, and these works have allowed us to know the amount and type of carbohydrates, and optimal salts in a sports drink, what is the most appropriate osmolarity, and whether or not it is justified to include other substances such as amino acids, proteins, vitamins in a drink designed to hydrate during training and competition. Debating these issues is beyond the scope of this article, however, they will be addressed within our section in the future.

It is also worth highlighting that the hydration pattern selected during training and competitions can significantly influence acute performance and thus the adaptations achieved in a training process. Perhaps even more importantly, the selected hydration pattern can significantly influence the athlete's health, and an incorrect pattern can even cause death. Unfortunately, in 2012 in Argentina, the death of a cyclist occurred immediately after a competition and this could be related to the hydration pattern selected before and particularly during the effort.

In the 1980s, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published a position statement on optimal hydration during exercise, and the message, which continued in publications into the 1990s, encouraged drinking as much fluid as possible. were possible (drink as much as possible during exercise). A scientist from the international community who strongly and with experimental evidence opposed this ACSM approach, which apparently is influenced by the sports drink industry, is Tim Noakes, who warned of the danger of inducing endurance athletes to a hyponatremic condition by forcing them to drink as much fluids as possible. It is worth highlighting that lower level athletes are those most at risk, since their competition pace allows them to drink even more than they sweat, which is why they can enter a condition of hyponatremia.

It is noteworthy that in the 2007 position statement the ACSM incorporates several concepts that leave behind the “ingest as much as possible” approach since they encourage assessing the athlete's sweat rate, and notably incorporate the concept of ad ingestion. libitum (at will) of fluids during effort, which is precisely the approach advocated by Tim Noakes. Who with experimental evidence maintains that currently there are no scientific studies that show that ingesting more fluid than what the will indicates (ad libitum) is beneficial for performance.

Apparently, as long as the athlete does not develop thirst, he will be ingesting the appropriate amount of fluids (what his will tells him) and thus his competition rhythm will not be affected, and mainly his health.

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