Hydration An Important Facet Of Training, Performance

Hydration is an essential—and sometimes—overlooked part of training and performance. SportsMD talked recently with Dr. Ralph E. Holsworth, Jr., D.O., Director of Clinical and Scientific Research, Essentia Water about the importance of proper hydration and some reasons why alkaline water is an effective alternative to other liquids before, during and after exercise.

SportsMD: How does the type of hydration a person needs vary by the type of activity, e.g. running a marathon vs. playing basketball.
Dr. Ralph E. Holsworth

Dr. Ralph E. Holsworth Jr.: The duration or length of time and intensity of the physical activity, determines the type of hydration.  Specifically, physical activity sustained over one hour (i.e., marathon) would generally require water with electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride).  In comparison, shorter athletic events (i.e., basketball), less than one hour,  consisting of shorter sprints and frequent rests, may only require hydration of a trusted purified water source.  The intensity of professional sports though usually requires an electrolyte-enriched water while mere, weekend warriors and mortals, usually only require water for rehydration.

SMD: What are some of the misconceptions about the way someone should hydrate before exercising?
RH: Humans are not camels and do not have the ability to store water so maintenance of proper hydration, requires small and frequent aliquots of water.
Humans do have the histamine system to transport cellular water to various parts of the cells, tissues, and organs.  For that reason, I always recommend my patients taking antihistamines, to pay close attention to their water hydration prior to exercising.  Exercised-induced asthma can be significantly decreased by proper hydration prior to exercise.
Not all waters are absorbed the same.  Generally, electrolyte-enriched waters are absorbed more easily and less likely to cause “bloating”.  Exercising is easier if you don’t fell bloated.
SMD: What are the benefits of alkaline water vs. mass market sports drinks?
RH:With Essentia’s three-step proprietary process, we have the ability to transform local water from anywhere in the world.Because we don’t have to transport our water to different parts of the world, the Earth’s natural resources go further, with less impact on the environment. What sets Essentia apart is our taste and effectiveness. Essentia was included in the first ever hydration study of its kind – the clinical trial, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (JISSN), measured how well a leading bottled water and Essentia Water rehydrated participants after moderate aerobic exercise. The results? Rehydrating with Essentia supercharged ionized alkaline water was more effective than rehydrating with a leading bottled water.+ More information on the hydration study can be found HERE.
SMD: Is there a guideline for the quantity of liquid someone needs before, during and after exercise?
RH: I recommend that we continuously hydrate because proper hydration is so strategic and vital for optimal health. Our bodies are constantly balancing with our physical surrounding, metabolism and physiological requirements so maintaining rehydration is key.
PicJumbo/Photo by Victor Hanacek

SMD: In developing Essentia Water, what were some factors that led you to the current formula, and are you continuing research to determine if they are optimal?

RH: Essentia is an ionized alkaline water that is developed and optimized through a unique, proprietary process. The first step removes unwanted particles through microfiltration and reverse osmosis, making Essentia 99.9% pure. The second step is where the water is infused with trace amounts of electrolytes for taste and to better complement the body’s existing natural mix. Our ionization process is what creates the smooth, clean taste and results in the higher pH – this was a key factor that led to the current product. For context, tap water’s pH is usually around a 7, whereas Essentia’s is at a 9.5 or higher.
SMD: What is an example of a study that you have conducted that changed your perception of what is needed for proper hydration?
RH: In 2016, a study was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition that showed Essentia rehydrated better than the leading bottled water. This really shows the importance of proper hydration and that Essentia is ionized alkaline water that’s better at rehydration.
Cover Image: FreeImages/Idea22
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Jerry Milani

Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at jerry (at) jerrymilani (dot) com.