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  • Subject Name : Biological Science

Athletic Performance of Sacha

Sweating is a process that almost every individual encounters in their daily lives. However, sweating does not only mean the loss of water from the body but rather has the electrolytes which include Sodium from the sweat glands. In the past, many athletes used to hydrate mostly on water alone but in the present they are now aware of the importance of hydrating on drinks with electrolytes.

There is a concern with trying to hydrate on water only. The risk is that one may develop hyponatremia which is a condition that comes about when an individual takes lots of water during a tolerance occurrence hence making the sodium in the body to het diluted (Hamouti et al, 2014). Sodium is directly related to sweating whereby the more one sweats the higher the likelihood of loosing sodium from the body. The sweating becomes profuse when the weather is humid and hot whereby everyone has to sweat. The issue with hydrating on pure water is that the body experiences less sodium therefore making it difficult to control the water that is around the cells. The lack of regulation of the water in the body makes the cells to swell and the present electrolytes are also diluted in the body.

The lack of control to the water in the body may cause some harm such as huge fatigue, cramps and nausea and in severe cases could cause coma, seizures and even death. The athletes that encounter hyponatremia are not likely to reach the extreme levels but the chances are high that the symptoms they get may be misdiagnosed with dehydration resulting in some compensation with water therefore making the condition worse (Hew-Butler et al, 2017). The reason stated above henceforth explains the importance of taking in a sodium drink some three to four days before participating in a long race. When the measure is observed, the body becomes ready to absorb the necessary fluids during hydration without having to dilute the electrolytes remaining in the body.

The body has the role of maintaining a balance of calcium being distributed in the bloodstream. The balance is maintained through the interchange of calcium into and out of bones, absorption from the intestines and the removal through urine (Hoffman & Stuempfle, 2016). When the calcium levels in the blood drops, there are hormones which are responsible for restoring the levels to normal. The parathyroid hormones in blood signals the bone surfaces to release calcium, formation of the active form of Vitamin D, and making the kidney reclaim more calcium before it is excreted in the form of urine.

The right amounts of calcium in the body is important as advised by the various specialists. The body has the ability if ensuring that the body has enough calcium levels. One of the ways is through the absorption from the beverages and food in the diet taken. The calcium that is taken in is processed in different methods whereby some is left in the bloodstream, some taken to the bones and the rest that is in excess is excreted (Shaker & Deftos, 2018). When necessary, the body will draw calcium from the bones which act as a built-in storage system for the calcium ions. When the body does not get the necessary amounts from the foods consumed, the parathyroid hormone is released which signals the removal of calcium from the bones. The bones are the only parts where calcium is stored and become part of the bone matrix making them resistant to breaking and strong.

The neural and musculoskeletal muscles are responsible for maintaining the temperatures through the production of heat. The muscle contraction needs some energy and heat is produced as result of metabolism (Rudenko et al, 2015). When Sacha exercise, the muscle movements makes the body temperature to increase. However, there are cases where there is so much cold for instance when Sacha enters cold ocean water for swimming. In a cold environment, shivering occurs and there are random skeletal muscle contractions to produce heat being part of negative feedback mechanism of sustaining the negative feedback mechanism of regulation the body temperature. The human body utilizes the skeletal muscle contractions to regulate the bod y temperature when cold but in excess the contractions can cause overheating which interrupts the body metabolic reactions.

A muscle cramp involves the contractions involuntarily of the muscles which happen suddenly and do not relax. One mechanism that causes a cramp is the electrolyte imbalance, dehydration processes, reduced cellular energy and the build-up of lactic acids (Swash et al, 2019). Also, the muscle cramps could be due to the increased activity in the nerve-muscle reflexes where the CNS reflexes are lost due to fatigue or increased use of the feedback communication with muscles. The spinal reflexes utilize receptors called Golgi tendon organs and the muscle spindles in the skeletal muscles. The Golgi tendons may be blocked and the muscles spindles become really active maintained muscle activation.

The other mechanism is the lack of enough stretching and muscle fatigue. A frequent schedule of stretching lengthens the muscle fibers to be able to tighten and contract well during an exercise (Minetto et al, 2013). In cases where the body is not well-conditioned, an individual is likely to get muscle fatigue which may interrupt with the spinal neural reflex activity. The overexertion will consume all the oxygen supply to the muscles hence causing accumulation of spasm and waste products. When one experiences a cramp, the spinal cord signals the muscle to continue contracting. There are also factors that can contribute to the cramps for instance the use of some medications, overexerting when working out and having increased weight. Athletes have increased chances of getting cramps when their bodies are not conditioned well and hence can easily get fatigued. The elderly people are also likely to get muscle cramps because of the normal muscle atrophy that becomes increased when there is inactivity.

References for Sacha Case Study

Hamouti, N., Fernández‐Elías, V. E., Ortega, J. F., & Mora‐Rodriguez, R. (2014). Ingestion of sodium plus water improves cardiovascular function and performance during dehydrating cycling in the heat. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 24(3), 507-518.

Hew-Butler, T., Loi, V., Pani, A., & Rosner, M. H. (2017). Exercise-associated hyponatremia: 2017 update. Frontiers in medicine, 4, 21.

Minetto, M. A., Holobar, A., Botter, A., & Farina, D. (2013). Origin and development of muscle cramps. Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 41(1), 3-10.

Rudenko, R., Mahliovanyy, A., Shyyan, O., & Prystupa, T. (2015). Physical rehabilitation and thermoregulatory processes in athletes with disabilities. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 15(4), 730.

Shaker, J. L., & Deftos, L. (2018). Calcium and phosphate homeostasis. In Endotext [Internet]. MDText. com, Inc..

Swash, M., Czesnik, D., & de Carvalho, M. (2019). Muscular cramp: causes and management. European journal of neurology, 26(2), 214-221.

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