It may sound a no-brainer, but drinking water is necessary before, during, and after exercise, even for athletes and enthusiasts. It hydrates the body, regulates the body temperature, provides energy, and keeps it healthy to achieve peak performance. On the contrary, insufficient fluid in the body will lead to dehydration, fatigue, loss of power, and cramps. Since water is essential, one cannot consume it less or beyond the average limit. Ironically, drinking too much water weakens the digestive system and kidneys, which usually leads to the organs’ inability to process fluids. Hence, athletes are on the quest to find effective ways to foster peak performance and ardent care for their bodies.
When an athlete performs an intense exercise or workout, the body undergoes specific physical changes. First, blood flow goes toward the muscles, moving away from the gastrointestinal tract. Then, sweat materializes to cool the body, depleting electrolytes and water. When the muscles push their limits, microscopic tears damage the cells and tissues.
If the activity exceeds 90 minutes or more, the body experiences stress, where the stress hormone, cortisol, makes its way out and affects the immune system. There is a significant drop in the blood flow and hydration toward organs, which can disrupt the kidney from functioning correctly too. The body desperately attempts to remedy the minute damages in the muscle tissues, leading to inflammation and soreness.
IV therapy is a medical innovation in response to these biological changes during strenuous activity. That is why it has been steadily rising in the sports industry in recent years. It continues to gain popularity among many athletes for various reasons.
To rehydrate efficiently and adequately
Athletes continue to push their bodies to perform activities regularly because muscles utilize water and electrolytes while in action. These activities include competing in challenging tournaments, engaging in endurance activities, working out at a gym, or even training in the comfort of one’s home. When an athlete does these activities, they lose fluids through perspiring. In addition, exercising in hot weather can also bring about sweating. Once the body hits the point where it loses or uses water more than it takes in, the fluid is not enough to cover the bodily functions required. Dehydration kicks for any unreplaced fluids.
Moreover, electrolytes are crucial in balancing blood chemistry, controlling muscles, and regulating nerve impulses. Lack of electrolytes may cause issues with digestion and pain in the joints.
IV therapy helps an athlete rehydrate quickly or restore the lost fluids and electrolytes during intense exercise or workout. An IV bag contains electrolytes and water, too, in combination with nutrients and electrolytes. Remember that the 30-minute window after an activity is vital for replenishing them as this is when the body needs them most.
To recover nutrients smoothly
The body burns so many carbohydrates, fats, and proteins during intense exercise. Besides electrolytes and fluids, the body also needs to replenish the nutrients it exhausted after a workout to facilitate metabolism. Metabolism is paramount in sustaining life by converting food into needed energy and running cellular functions.
IV therapy is perfect in this sense. Undergoing this treatment promotes certain minerals and vitamins, such as B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, glutathione, and other antioxidants, to assist wound healing, energy boost, and lower oxidative stress resulting in post-workout fatigue and soreness. These nutrients help an athlete bounce back quicker and livelier.
To boost nutrient absorption
Aside from replenishing nutrients, IV therapy revamps the body to absorb them. As taxing exercise deviates blood away from the GI tract to muscles, the GI tract finds it difficult to absorb nutrients after the activity.
IV therapy safely and quickly delivers the necessary nutrient into the bloodstream by skipping the GI tract. This body system can be a roadblock to the absorption of high levels of nutrients and prevent their wastage out of the body.
To reduce the chances of muscle cramps
Muscle cramps are a common occurrence that happens mainly after a strenuous workout. It is a sudden and involuntary contraction in one or more muscles in the body. What happens if cramps hit unexpectedly during a competition? Such occurrences may pose severe problems for earnest athletes. Fluid and salt loss are factors that may have contributed to muscle cramps.
On the accounts of some athletes, enthusiasts, and sports teams, IV therapy has been a tremendous help in replacing lost fluids and salts to prevent cramps.
Although IV therapy is one of the latest crazes offering optimal performance for athletes and enthusiasts, several organizations, like the World Anti-Doping Agency, restrict the use of IV therapy in treating severe dehydration, administering medications, and managing heat illness, except if sick. It is essential to note that research has yet to find significant evidence to show that IV treatment optimizes performance over oral rehydration. However, considerable anecdotal evidence bolsters the use of IV therapy for athletes to recover and relieve quickly and efficiently.