Hydration Physiology

Hydration is crucial for a lot of athletes and most of them play the guessing game when it comes to it resulting in cramps, decreased performance and on rare cases even death.

Proper hydration is a delicate dance and must be individualized because everyone is different physiologically such as gender, age, fitness level, among other factors. Having too much can cause overhydration and not having enough can cause dehydration so the right balance must be found. Additionally, the same individual can have different sweat rates even when performing the same activity during different days which can be attributed to many factors forcing athletes to rely on the biological response "drink to thirst" which is not a reliable warning.

Hydration Strategy

Given the lack of a reliable real-time hydration technology, athletes must rely on instinctive responses for hydration. Here are some unfeasible hydration testing methods:

  • Blood/Urine Analysis

  • Urine Color Test

  • Nude Body Mass

All the above tests the athlete to pause their activity to perform the tests and even then, all of them are not practical. This proves the need for an accurate and reliable device that can analyze an athlete's sweat in real-time and provide feedback on when to drink, what to drink and how much to drink.

Dehydration Consequences

Studies show that improper hydration can have significant consequences such as decreasing performance and increasing injury by up to 40%. Dehydration causes the following:

  • Increased Heart Rate

  • Increased Respiratory Rate

  • Decreased Blood Pressure

All the above physiological changes can lead to cardiovascular stress and fatigue resulting in decreased performance.

 

Furthermore, these physiological changes can also impact cognitive performance since our brain needs electrolytes and water to transmit signals between the nerves.

FUNDED BY

National Science Foundation

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