Hydration is one of the major key factors on which the performance of an athlete lies upon. Athletes use different types of fluids to keep themselves hydrated. Alkaline water is also one of them. However, to find out what difference does alkaline water make as compared to table water and is alkaline water a good alternate to sodium bicarbonate, we have laid down this piece of writing for you.
A human body mass comprises more than 50% of water
Water is the basic requirement of one’s life as it helps our bodies to nourish and grow. Our body sweats the entire day and so, we need water to fulfill our body’s water requirements. Unlike a normal human being, a sports athlete’s body produces more heat and sweat during the excessive physical exercises they do daily.
Dehydration affects the performance of a sports athlete
A dehydrated athlete can never perform well. Dehydration can not only affect your physical performance, as it can lead to headaches, and body aches, but also affect thinking performance. Surveys showed that dehydration can affect vigilance, alertness, arithmetic ability, and psychomotor skills which can, as a result, affect our daily routine activities and works.
dehydration has always put negative effects on muscle endurance, strength, anaerobic capacity, jumping performance, and skill performance in team sports games. This is why hydration is one of the most significant issues for combat sports, as athletes often use water restriction for quick weight loss before competition.
What provides better hydration? Table water or Alkaline water?
This has led to many surveys and tests. The surveys led to the results that alkaline water provides better hydration than regular table water. The following are the reasons why:
· Table water has a pH of 7 whereas the alkaline water has a pH of around 8 or sometimes 9. Because of the higher pH value of alkaline water, it is said that alkaline water neutralizes with the body acids faster and provides quicker hydration than regular table water. Therefore, it helps enhance anaerobic exercise performance in combat sports athletes.
· Alkaline water helps in better detoxification of the body. Because of its high pH level, the alkaline water increases the pH level of the urine as well which helps in flushing out toxins from the body. Hence, sports athletes stay fit, well, and hydrated.
· Alkaline water causes a visible increase in bone density and a decrease in parathyroid hormone and serum C-telopeptide.
· Studies have also proven that the regular use of alkaline water can help in the prevention of diabetes and atherosclerosis as it lowers the concentration of Triglycerides and glucose in the body.
Alkaline water improves exercise-induced metabolic acidosis or not?
The exchange of ions, CO2, and water between the intracellular and extracellular compartments helps to restore acid-base balance following intensive exercise. Sufficient data is indicating that, supplements that modify the blood buffering system affect high-intensity exercise performance.
In humans, especially well-trained athletes muscle pH may decrease from 7.0 at rest to values as low as 6.4–6.5 during exercise. Ergogenic aids that help buffer protons attenuate changes in pH and enhance the muscle’s buffering capacity. This in turn allows for a greater amount of lactate to accumulate in the muscle during exercise.
Several evidence studies support the negative impact of dehydration on muscle endurance, strength, and anaerobic performance. On the other hand, studies also prove that the consumption of alkaline water following a dehydrating bout of cycling exercise rehydrates cyclists faster and more completely compared to table water.
A significant increase in anaerobic capacity of athletes supplemented with alkaline water is clearly observed.
High-intensity exercise in which anaerobic glycolysis provides ATP for muscle contraction leads to an equal production of lactate and hydrogen ions. Most of the released hydrogen ions are buffered; however, a small portion that remains in the cytosol causes a decrease in muscle pH and an impairment of exercise.
The use of alkaline water resulted in positive changes in blood pH and bicarbonate. It is also observed that the changes in resting blood pH and HCO3- significantly improved anaerobic performance.
The above-mentioned facts and figures prove that drinking alkalized water improves hydration status, acid-base balance, and high-intensity anaerobic exercise performance.
Considering the energy demands and the intense sweat rate of combat sports athletes, it is recommended that the daily intake of 3–4 L of highly alkaline mineralized water helps to improve hydration and anaerobic performance during training and competition.
Thus, it is concluded that the habitual consumption of highly alkaline water can markedly improve hydration status, especially in sports athletes as an appropriate hydration status is necessary for active bicarbonate ion transport.