The role of hydration in health, disease and performance
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School of Health Science and Education, Harokopio University, Athens, Greece
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A84
Water is the largest component of the human body. Despite its multiple and critical roles, it is at the same time one of the most under-researched nutrients. Water and electrolyte balance is vital for the functioning of all organs and indeed for maintaining health in general. Recent epidemiological data indicate that hypohydration and/or elevated hydration biomarkers are associated with several adverse health outcomes; like chronic kidney disease, diabetes, urinary tract infections, cardiovascular dysfunction, cognitive impairment and others.
Likewise, maintenance of fluid homeostasis is also important for sports performance and thermoregulation in active individuals. It is well documented that even moderate levels of dehydration increase physiological strain, most likely through disproportionate elevation in heart rate and a concomitant reduction in cardiac output, resulting in body’s inability to dissipate heat. Furthermore, water losses ~2% of total body weight impair exercise and skill performance significantly, both in laboratories and field studies as well as mental performance, especially under hot environmental conditions provoking ultimately a severe challenge for every athlete.
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