A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition looked at whether elite Olympic class sailors could maintain hydration status with self regulated fluid intake in cold conditions and with fixed fluid intake in warm conditions. Although the sailors were personally responsible for their fluid intake while training in the cold, the cold condition study revealed the sailors did not drink enough fluids to prevent a decrease in body mass during training and a reduction in blood electrolyte concentration (sodium, potassium, and chloride). Sip on that!
The loss of water is not the only concern when sweating, because electrolytes "vanish" too! Electrolytes are minerals and other body fluids that carry an electric charge. They regulate the amount of water in the body, the acidity blood (pH), muscle function, and other physiologic body functions. While water should be your beverage of choice, water does not contain electrolytes. Therefore they must be replaced by drinking fluids that contain electrolytes, i.e., Gatorade (when exercising heavily).
Fluid Balance and Dehydration
Dehydration Signs and Symptoms
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth and swollen tongue
- Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
- Sluggishness fainting
- Inability to sweat
- Decreased urine output
Chloride is a salt and an important electrolyte in the blood. It helps with intercellular and extracellular concentrations differentials, maintain proper blood volume, blood pressure, and maintain the pH of body fluid. Most chloride in the body comes from salt (sodium chloride) that is eaten in foods. When chloride is digested, it is absorbed in the small intestine. Last, excess chloride leaves the body in urine.
Chloride in Common Foods
- Bread, whole wheat, 2 slices, 264mg sodium, 660mg salt
- Bread, white, 2 slices, 340mg, 850mg salt
- Cereal, corn flakes, 1cup, 266mg sodium, 665mg salt
- Dill pickle, 1 spear, 330mg sodium, 800mg salt
- Hot dog, beef, 1, 510mg sodium, 1,300mg salt
- Tomato juice, canned, salt added, 1 cup, 650mg sodium, 1,600mg salt
- Pretzels, salted, 2oz. (10 pretzels), 1,000mg sodium, 2,500mg salt
3-Tips for Better Hydration
- Make your water bottle your bestie. Invest in a water bottle and take it everywhere or have one designated for the desk at work, the car, and for at home. Bottom line, bring is where ever you go, sip frequently, refill, and repeat!
- Set a timer. Use your phone to set reminders to get your gulp on! Start with your morning wake up call all the way to bedtime.
- Eat water rich fruits & vegetables. Lettuce, celery, cucumbers, and watermelon to name a few are fluid-rich fruits and vegetables.
- Higdon, J. (2004). Sodium (Chloride). In Micronutrient Information Center, Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/sodium/
- Lewis, E. H., Fraser, S. J., Thomas, S. G., & Wells, G. D. (2013). Changes in hydration status of elite Olympic class sailors in different climates and the effects of different fluid replacement beverages.Journal Of The International Society Of Sports Nutrition, 10(1), 1-10.
- Mahan, L. K., Escott-Stump, S., Raymond, J. L., & Krause, M. V. (2012). Krause's food & the nutrition care process (13th ed.). St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier/Saunders.
- WebMD. (2014). Information and Resources: Chloride. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/chloride-cl