High-performance sports nutrition often focuses on athletes aged between 18 and 35yrs, but as we age, many of us still compete and train with the intensity of earlier years. There are, however, four things about our fluid requirements that change with age and that we must consider.
- Our decreased perception of thirst,
- Our slower kidney function,
- Changes in hormone function, and
- The shifts in our sweat response can result in decreased fluid intake during exercise.
In general, older athletes don’t drink and rehydrate as much as they used to, despite the same need for fluids as younger athletes.
It is strongly recommended that older athletes pay attention and constantly measure their body weight pre– and post-training, as well as pre and post-competition. Tracking the change in body weight will help older athlete determine their fluid requirements. A good plan for fluid replacement during specific training and competition is always important but may be critical for successful performance with the older athlete.