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Hydration and Electrolyte Loss During Exercise

by Dr. John O’Reilly

There are numerous concerns associated with exercise-induced dehydration. Various guidelines issued by professional organisations have indicated that the acclimatisation and timing of physical activity are key elements in protecting athletes from the dangers of dehydration and heat illness. Implementing appropriate rehydration strategies during and post-exercise is crucial, as well as maintaining an appropriate electrolyte balance. Based on the scientific literature to date, this talk will outline the main hydration concerns for the athletes and suggest various methods to minimise or indeed eliminate the threat of exercise-induced heat illness. The evidence on this topic is, however, limited and incomplete, and there are many areas where future study is necessary to formulate more specific hydration guidelines for athletes.

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