By Rich Scheckenbach, Working Athlete Formulation Director
HYDRATE & RECOVER – A Clinical Perspective
Dehydration, fatigue, mental weariness, and impaired performance are inextricably connected and are often the consequence of prolonged or intense physical activity. Dehydration, on its own, can adversely affect normal physiological processes resulting in diminished mental focus and physical output. While the importance of staying well hydrated has long been recognized by competitive athletes, it has largely been ignored by the population in general. Further complicating this condition is that most individuals rely solely on their sensation of thirst as an indicator that their body needs fluid replenishment. Unfortunately, by the time the thirst mechanism is triggered, the individual is already dehydrated to a degree that can compromise performance.
[It’s also important to note that dehydration can result in a number of more serious complications which include heat injuries (running the spectrum from heat cramps to life threatening heat strokes), electrolyte imbalance (with its debilitating mental and physical effects), urinary waste elimination and kidney problems, and even hypovolemic shock -- a condition in which a reduction in blood volume seriously affects both blood pressure and the amount of oxygen available to every cell throughout the body.]
Recognizing the importance of proper hydration and its associated physiological processes, Wilderness Athlete/Working Athlete developed its state-of-the-science Hydrate & Recover formula to address not only maintenance of proper fluid levels but also replacement of essential electrolytes, provision of vital energy substrates for muscle and brain endurance, and delivery of other crucial nutrients to counter the various biochemical insults experienced during prolonged or intense physical activity.
A pilot research study was recently concluded at Brigham Young University Idaho (BYU), examining the effects of Hydrate & Recover versus plain water on cognitive reaction times, a reliable indicator of mental clarity and performance. The study involved individuals who were mildly sleep-deprived, then awake for 14.5 hours or more prior to 1.5 hours of exhaustive exercise, followed by the administration of the Stroop Interference Test. (Stroop Interference is a widely used test to determine reaction time or speed of psychologically processing information.) The results of this study showed that consumption of Hydrate & Recover improved reaction times by almost 2 ½ times over that of plain water consumption in the test subjects.
These research results are not at all surprising given the robust nutrient profile of Hydrate & Recover and the physiological processes addressed by the formula. Foremost among Hydrate & Recover’s attributes is its osmolality (concentration of nutrients) which is fine-tuned for rapid uptake of the prepared drink from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. This characteristic ensures that fluids are quickly delivered to tissues needing immediate fluid replenishment. Secondly, Hydrate & Recover’s properly balanced electrolyte composition (sodium, potassium, and chloride) assists the body in maintaining accurate pH, producing necessary energy, and assuring that the electrical signals between the brain, nerves, and muscles are occurring correctly, thereby avoiding involuntary muscle contractions and cramps. Next, is the inclusion of L-glutamine, an important fuel for the brain, and the BCAAs (L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine), important fuels for muscular activity. In addition to the contribution of these four amino acids and previously mentioned electrolytes to the body’s production of energy, Hydrate & Recover also includes essential energy pathway catalysts, L-glutathione and coenzyme Q10, for metabolic efficiency. Finally, addition of adaptogenic herbs and bountiful quantities of vitamin C address the potential biochemical and physiological damage caused by prolonged or intense physical activity.