In the quest for optimal performance and recovery in physical activities, the significance of proper nutrition and hydration cannot be overstated. The comprehensive study Hydration, Hyperthermia, Glycogen, and Recovery: Crucial Factors in Exercise Performance—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis by O López-Torres, C Rodríguez-Longobardo, et al., published in 2023, serves as a pivotal resource in understanding these aspects. This article aims to dissect the study’s methodology, findings, and implications, providing fitness professionals with actionable strategies to amplify their clients’ training outcomes.

Study Overview and Methodology

The research undertaken by López-Torres and colleagues is a systematic review and meta-analysis that scrutinises existing literature on the effects of hydration, hyperthermia, glycogen levels, and recovery on exercise performance. The study amalgamates data from various trials, focusing on how these four critical factors influence athletic output. By adhering to stringent inclusion criteria and employing robust statistical analyses, the research offers a comprehensive evaluation of relevant outcomes.

Key Findings

The study highlights the intricate relationship between hydration status and exercise performance, underscoring that even mild dehydration can significantly impair athletic capability. It also delves into the detrimental effects of hyperthermia, demonstrating how elevated body temperatures can reduce endurance and strength. Additionally, the research reaffirms the pivotal role of glycogen as a crucial energy source for high-intensity activities and underscores the importance of recovery practices in mitigating fatigue and enhancing performance longevity.

Analysis of Conclusions

The conclusions drawn from this study are clear: optimal hydration, temperature regulation, glycogen availability, and recovery strategies are fundamental to maximising exercise performance. These findings underscore the need for a holistic approach to training regimens, where nutrition and hydration play central roles.

Practical Tips for Fitness Professionals

  • Hydration Protocol: Encourage clients to drink water throughout the day, not just before or after workouts. Aiming for urine that is light yellow in colour can be a good hydration indicator.
  • Pre-Exercise Hydration: Suggest consuming 500-600 mL of water 2-3 hours before exercise and 200-300 mL 20-30 minutes prior.
  • Nutrition Guidance: Advocate for a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Carbohydrates are particularly crucial for replenishing glycogen stores.
  • Pre-Workout Meals: Recommend eating a meal rich in complex carbohydrates and protein 2-3 hours before exercising to ensure ample glycogen levels.
  • Temperature Awareness: Advise training in cooler environments when possible and wearing appropriate clothing to facilitate heat dissipation.

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Pre-Workout Regime

Here’s a suggested schedule for a pre-workout food and drink plan:

  • 2-3 Hours Before Exercise:
    • Meal: Quinoa bowl with grilled chicken, mixed vegetables, and a side of fruit.
    • Drink: 500 mL of water.
  • 30 Minutes Before Exercise:
    • Snack: Banana with a small handful of almonds.
    • Drink: 200 mL of water or a sports drink for intense sessions.

The study by López-Torres et al. emphasises the multifaceted nature of exercise performance, highlighting the indispensable roles of nutrition and hydration. By incorporating these insights into training recommendations, fitness professionals can significantly elevate their clients’ athletic achievements and recovery processes.


López-Torres, O., Rodríguez-Longobardo, C., et al. (2023). Hydration, Hyperthermia, Glycogen, and Recovery: Crucial Factors in Exercise Performance—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Click here to review the full research article

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