Фридайвинг и гидратация

Improving performance in freediving: the importance of hydration

Freediving, also known as breath-hold diving, demands a high degree of physical preparedness and careful monitoring of one’s condition from the athlete. One key aspect that significantly affects the safety and efficiency of dives is hydration.

Why is hydration so important for freedivers?

Water is the basis for all vital processes in our body, and maintaining a proper water balance is critical to sustaining optimal physiological conditions. In freediving, where every breath and movement requires precise calculation, hydration becomes not just a matter of comfort but also safety. Insufficient fluid intake can lead to reduced physical performance, impaired concentration, and consequently, an increased risk of underwater hazards. This is because dehydration forces the heart to work harder, accelerating oxygen consumption, which can have serious consequences under water.

Causes of dehydration in freedivers

Freedivers are at risk of dehydration for several reasons:

  • Sweating, especially in a warm climate or when wearing a wetsuit, contributes to fluid loss.
  • Breathing through the mouth while using equipment in dry air can also enhance moisture loss.
  • Additionally, immersion diuresis, the increased urination due to water pressure, amplifies the need for fluid replenishment.

Pre-dive hydration strategies

To ensure optimal hydration, it is essential to start well in advance, a day before the planned dive. Consuming a sufficient amount of fluids in the morning before diving and drinking regularly during extended sessions will help maintain water balance. Using a water bottle or isotonic drinks can help maintain proper hydration throughout the activity.

Indicators of hydration level

Urine color is a simple and reliable indicator of hydration level. Light-colored urine usually indicates good hydration, while dark urine may suggest a need to increase fluid intake.

The role of electrolytes in hydration

For effective hydration, not only fluids but also electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are necessary. They help maintain the body's water-salt balance and are essential for normal muscle and nerve function. Isotonic drinks enriched with electrolytes, or adding electrolyte mixes to water, can help maintain an optimal electrolyte balance during active training and dives.

Homemade sports drink

Creating a homemade sports drink is a simple and effective way to provide the body with the necessary carbohydrates and minerals for long workouts. Such a drink can be made from filtered water, adding sea salt for minerals, freshly squeezed lemon juice for taste, and honey for carbohydrates.

The effect of caffeine and alcohol on hydration

Caffeine and alcohol have a diuretic effect, meaning they promote the increased removal of fluids from the body. Therefore, it is important to monitor their consumption before diving and to increase water intake to compensate for possible fluid loss.

Rehydrating after a dive

After a dive, it is crucial to start the rehydration process immediately. Even if there is no thirst or other obvious signs of dehydration, it is advisable to drink sports drinks, diluted fruit juices, coconut water, herbal teas, or mineral water to replenish fluid levels and electrolytes.

Conclusion

Hydration is not just a recommended measure but a fundamental element of preparation and recovery in freediving. Adequate fluid intake plays a critical role in improving performance, enhancing safety during dives, and effective recovery afterwards. Freedivers must carefully monitor their hydration levels and consciously approach fluid consumption to achieve maximum efficiency from freediving training both under water and on the surface.

18.12.2023
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