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Performance on a Paddle Board and Hydration are very closely linked. Hydration is perhaps one of the most underestimated aspects of sports that take place in or around water.

As 60% of the human body is made up of water, a drop of just 2% of body weight by sweat causes a noticeable decrease of physical and mental performance by as much as 10-20%. A 5% or more loss of body weight during physical activities may decrease the capacity for work by roughly 30%. This small loss of the bodies water content by sweat has a massive effect on how the body functions and a huge impact on sports performance.


What other effects does dehydration have?

Fluids help to regulate the bodies Temperature, Blood Pressure and Transport of energy nutrients. Dehydration will effect both training and recovery, it will also make exercise seem more difficult as there is an increased strain on the body.

A recent study by The University of Wales showed that 46% of athletes rely on their coaches for hydration information. If you don’t have a coach you need to make sure you are hydrated.

Bridget Benelam, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) comments: “Clearly the hydration issues for athletes differ, which confirms the need for coaches and sportspeople alike to pay more attention to simple measurement techniques.”


How much should I drink and when?

The BNF has put together this guide for Optimum Hydration Athletic Performance.

Before Exercise

•Drink about 500mls of fluid 2 hours before exercising to allow time for any excess to be lost in urine
•Then drink a further 125-250mls immediately before exercise
•Weigh yourself (see After Exercise below).

During Exercise

•Drink small amounts regularly, aiming for 125-250mls every 10-20 minutes. You can maintain optimal performance by replacing at least 80% of sweat loss during performance.

After Exercise

•You need to consume 150% of the amount of fluid lost during exercise to allow for the fluid that is naturally lost from the body via urine. For example, if you have lost 1L of fluid, you need to drink 1.5L.
•The easiest way to calculate your fluid loss is to weigh yourself before and after training. 1kg of weight loss resulting from exercise is roughly equivalent to 1L of fluid loss.
•Weight loss in kilos then needs to be multiplied by 1.5 to calculate the amount of fluid to consume
•This does not need to be consumed all at once, immediately after exercise. Aim for 500ml immediately after training, then consume the remainder at intervals afterward.

*Note. These tips are for general use and do not constitute specific advice for individuals.


As most nutritionist and sports scientist recommend drinking approximately every 10-20 minutes during exercise, this means almost every paddle board session should involve taking a drink with you.


Photo by Matt Zhou on Unsplash