Getting Thirsty While In The Water

Getting Thirsty While In The Water

Hydration is now considered a vital part of athletic performance and physical health by coaches, athletes and trainers. But it was not always so.

Penny Dean, an inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame, recalls that marathon swimmers used to drink no more frequently than once per hour…and sometimes even significantly less than that. “We had some swimmers who crossed the Catalina Channel with only two feeds.”

Murray Rose, the great Australian Olympic champion who won 4 gold medals, 2 silver and 2 bronze at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and the 1960 Rome Olympics, recalls that “we used to purposefully not drink anything before a competition.

I remember being so thirsty before a competition. My lips were parched. It took great discipline to become so dehydrated. When we dove in the water, the water on our lips tasted so sweet
.”

As the science of sports evolved and the physiological needs of humans doing exercise became better understood by coaches and athletes, water bottles became de rigueur during training sessions and much more frequent feeding stops became common during solo swims and open water swimming competitions.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source