Liquid H2O is the sine qua non of life. Making up about 66 percent of the human body, water runs through the blood, inhabits the cells, and lurks in the spaces between. At every moment water escapes the body through sweat, urination, defecation or exhaled breath, among other routes. What are lost also are the vital minerals of magnesium, potassium and sodium.
Replacing these lost stores that result from pre, during and post hockey performance is essential especially to avoid dehydration but also to replenish the body with the right minerals that are lost when competing .
Of these minerals magnesium has an enormous role on body functioning. Magnesium plays a fundamental role in optimal muscle contraction, skeletal strength and energy production, helping to sustain the high oxygen consumption necessary for a hockey performance. As such magnesium is an essential building block for our bodies. Necessary for nearly every chemical process and for the functioning of every system in the body, magnesium is sometimes called the ‘master mineral’.
It is not uncommon to see at hockey games players filling their drink bottle from the tap. The issue here is that the water is ‘laced’ with fluoride. Research indicates that fluoride ions clearly interfere with the biological activity of magnesium ion. Present-day Mg deficiencies in humans are the result of intensive expulsion of this element. Important for cell integrity, the precious magnesium (which is so important to the cell at this time) flows out of the cells through the faulty membranes. Calcium then moves in, replacing the magnesium, causing a decrease in performance and heightens the chance of injury.
The next important mineral to include in fluid replenishment is potassium. Potassium aids in nerve functioning, glycogen (energy) processing, and fluid regulation. Finally sodium plays an important role in fluid regulation, the absorption of nutrients in the gut, maintaining cognitive function, nerve impulse transmission and in muscle contraction.
Therefore as much as fluid replenishment is critical to one’s hockey performance especially during the hotter months that are experienced during the early part of the season it is imperative to review what type of water you are using.
Fluoride contained tap water is generally unsuitable. What is suitable are;
- Natural spring waterflows up from a natural spring and is bottled at the source.
- Mineral watercould be natural spring water or artesian water, comes from an underground source, and contains at least 250 parts per million (ppm) of dissolved solids, including minerals and trace elements.
- Alka Power is ionic alkaline water. It removes fluoride and other flashes and infuses ionic calcium, magnesium, trace sodium and potassium.
- Himalayan salt has 84 trace minerals. You can add this to distilled water (NB: boiled water that takes out all fluriode and traceelements normally). Half a teaspoon to 3+ litres of water
Taking the time to get your fluid replenishment right will aid in improving performance.