The soundbyte summary: The debate is not whether you need water; you do. Everyone should drink to thirst. The debate is, particularly in endurance events (>2 hours), whether you need water and electrolyte intake beyond that to optimize performance. All the while knowing that “optimal performance” occurs are varying levels of dehydration.
• Why water is so critical, different levels of dehydration and symptoms
• What are electrolytes, water balance in the body, and the thirst mechanism
• The relationship between sweat rate, sodium loss, blood volume, and heat illness
• Physiological need for sodium and current sodium intake
• Why endurance athletes may need more than “drink to thirst”
• What is the optimal level of (de)hydration for performance
• How to determine your best hydration strategy
American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Exercise and fluid replacement. 2007.
Armstrong, 2021. Hydration to protect against 2-3% dehydration.
Beis, 2012. Dubai marathon winner at 9.8% dehydration.
Campbell et al., 2015. Sodium in Ancestral Diets.
Noakes et al., 2004. Some of the best Ironman times had greater than 5% dehydration.
Zouhal et al., 2011. Best times were >3% dehydration in France marathon.
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