It’s important to hydrate properly before and during exercise to help your body function at its best. Here are some tips on how to stay properly hydrated for your next big game or workout.
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Drink before you’re thirsty
One of the most important things to remember when hydrating for sports is to drink before you’re thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Thirst is triggered when the body loses 1-2% of its total water content. But even a loss of just 2% of body weight through sweat can decrease athletic performance.
How much should you drink?
For exercise lasting less than an hour, water is usually sufficient. But if you’re exercising for more than an hour or in high heat, a sports drink can help replace the electrolytes lost through sweat.
To prevent dehydration, drink:
-17 to 20 ounces of fluid, 2 to 3 hours before exercise
-8 ounces of fluid, 20 to 30 minutes before exercise
-7 to 10 ounces of fluid, every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise
-8 ounces of fluid within 30 minutes after exercise
Drink even if you don’t feel thirsty
While you might not feel thirsty, your body might already be experiencing dehydration. Thirst is actually a late sign of dehydration, so it’s important to drink even when you don’t feel thirsty.
How much should you drink?
It depends on a few factors, including:
-Your sweat rate: how much you sweat during exercise
-The intensity and duration of your exercise
-The temperature and humidity
-Whether you’re sick or have any medical conditions
-Your age, gender, and weight
Some basic guidelines to follow are:
-During exercise: drink 0.5 to 0.7 fluid ounces per pound of body weight lost during the session
For example, if you weigh 150 pounds and lose 1 pound during a 1-hour workout, you would need to drink 16 to 24 fluid ounces (2 to 3 cups) of fluid within 2 hours after your workout.
-If you’re going on a long run or bike ride: drink 16 to 24 fluid ounces (2 to 3 cups) of fluid 2 hours before starting
This will help ensure that you start your workout properly hydrated.
Drink small sips frequently
The best way to hydrate is to drink small sips of water frequently throughout the day. You should aim to drink 8-10 cups of water per day, and even more if you are active or live in a hot climate. If you are doing any strenuous activity, such as playing sports, you will need to drink even more water to compensate for the water lost through sweat. It is important to drink before, during, and after exercise to maintain proper hydration.
If you are doing any strenuous activity, such as playing sports, you will need to drink even more water to compensate for the water lost through sweat. It is important to drink before, during, and after exercise to maintain proper hydration.
Drink cool or room-temperature fluids
For most people, staying hydrated during moderate exercise is as simple as drinking cool or room-temperature fluids. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume about 13 cups (3 liters) of fluid a day and women consume about 9 cups (2.2 liters).
Drink sports drinks
Sports drinks are designed to help athletes replace the electrolytes they lose during exercise. They typically contain carbohydrates, which can help improve your performance by providing energy, as well as sodium and potassium, which are lost through sweat.
The key is to choose a sports drink that contains between 14 and 19 grams of carbohydrate per 8 ounces (240 ml). This will help you maintain your blood sugar levels and give you the energy you need to perform at your best.
It’s also important to make sure you’re drinking enough fluid. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that athletes drink 17 to 20 ounces (500 to 600 ml) of fluid two hours before exercise, 7 to 10 ounces (200 to 300 ml) every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise, and 16 ounces (475 ml) within 30 minutes of finishing.
If you’re exercising for more than an hour or in a hot environment, you may need more than just water to replace the fluids you’re losing. In these cases, a sports drink can be a good option. Just be sure to read the label carefully, as some sports drinks can be high in sugar and calories.
Drink more when it’s hot outside
It’s important to drink more when it’s hot outside because sweating causes you to lose fluids and electrolytes, which can lead to dehydration. The best way to stay hydrated is to drink before you feel thirsty, and to keep drinking even if you don’t feel thirsty.
“Most people only drink when they’re thirsty, but by the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated,” says Douglas Casa, Ph.D., ATC, CSCS, CEO of the UConn Hydration Science Lab and author of “Preventing Heat Illness in Sports.” “You should be sipping on fluids all day long, especially in the summer.”
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that athletes drink 17 to 20 ounces of fluid two to three hours before exercise. During exercise, they should drink 7 to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes. After exercise, they should drink 16 to 24 ounces for each pound lost during exercise.
Drink water first, then sports drink
Water should always be your first choice when hydrating for sports. It’s calorie-free, plentiful, and easy to find. Sport drinks can be a good second choice if you’re exercising for more than an hour or in hot weather. Sport drinks can help replace lost electrolytes, but they also contain calories and can cause stomach upset if you drink too much of them.
Avoid sugary drinks
Avoid sugary drinks
Sugary drinks can cause dehydration because they contain so much sugar that the body expels water to try to process them.