The latest Guardian food article describes the types of foods that teams in the world cup are carting around with them from home. When travelling for competition, it is important that players are comfortable and their menus and food plans aren’t altered in the lead up to matches.
The climate of Brazil will dictate food choices and menu planning and, most importantly, hydration. Temperatures are climbing into the mid 20s and competing in these temperatures needs careful attention to fluid intake.
In a hot environment, an active person could need to consume up to 10L of water per day to compensate for the amount of fluid lost through sweat. Dehydration impairs cardiovascular function, causing a rise in heart rate and reduces performance by causing premature fatigue. The amount of carbohydrate drinks consumed for energy will need to be monitored as concentrated carbohydrate solutions slow down water absorption into the intestine, exacerbating dehydration in the short term.
So when it’s hot hot hot out there, pay close attention to hydration – drink to thirst and then some and match fluid intake to sweat rate. Drink dilute glucose electrolyte solutions as these will allow for maximum water absorption. It may help to ‘hyperhydrate’, ingest extra water, before competing in the heat. This provides protection against heat stress by delaying dehydration, increasing sweating and minimising a rise in core temperature.
Will the winning team be the one who pays closest attention to their nutrition and hydration strategies in these hot temperatures…maybe!!
You can also find out a bit more about hydration for a longer cycle here…