Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Training is more fun with a bottle of water

You can make lengthy running or cardio sessions more pleasant by drinking water while you're exercising. Drinking water also helps you feel more energetic after the training session, write sports scientists at Loughborough University in Appetite.

Replacing water lost during sports sessions improves performance. It stimulates anabolic processes and enhances fat burning, it raises growth hormone production and last but not least it keeps the rise in cortisol levels under control.

In their study the Brits not only looked at the physiological but also at the mental effects of drinking water. They got fifteen trained endurance athletes who worked out at least three times a week to run on a treadmill for an hour and a half, at seventy percent of their VO2max. That's an effort level where a normal person will not be able to keep up a conversation.

The researchers alternated the sessions, so the subjects drank water [FR] or didn't [NR]. Before starting the training the test subjects in the FR group drank 5 ml water per kilo bodyweight. After the training session they drank 2 ml water per kilo bodyweight every twenty minutes.

The researchers then asked the athletes how much they'd enjoyed or not enjoyed the running, and drew the curves shown below from their findings. The higher the curve, the more pleasurable the athletes found their activity.

Training is more fun with a bottle of water

So drinking water makes the activity more pleasurable.

The researchers also asked their subjects how excited, calm or tired their were. That made no difference. But when they asked the athletes how energetic they felt, the researchers found that drinking water had had an effect.

Training is more fun with a bottle of water

Drinking water during endurance training helps you to feel more energetic after the session has ended. You could say water is a mental stimulant. You'd almost think that water's a drug, not a food.

Appetite. 2007 Mar;48(2):193-8.

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