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Staying hydrated as an athlete is extremely important. Not only to keep your body healthy, but also to increase the ability for your body to perform at peak physical performance. The amount of water needed to do these things is different for everyone, but there are some guidelines that everyone can follow to make sure they are getting enough water.
Benefits of Hydration as an Athlete
According to theUSADA, hydration is the most important nutritional concern for athletes and research has shown that losing as little as 2% of the total body weight can negatively affect athletic performance. When an athlete is dehydrated, several things occur in the body that cause the athlete’s performance to suffer.
Dehydration Symptoms To Watch Out For
The easiest way to gauge hydration levels in the body is by monitoring urine. Hydrated urine is clear or a light yellow, while dehydrated urine is a dark yellow.
Other symptoms of dehydration can include…
To avoid dehydration, it’s best to follow the following practices below.
Hydrating Before The Gym
Part of the process of keeping properly hydrated as an athlete in the gym is hydrating before even going to the gym. The rule of thumb for most people is to try and drink 17-20 oz of water as early as 2-3 hours before starting exercise.
For early morning gym-goers, it is important to drink water right after waking up, and to keep sipping on water while you’re getting ready and heading to the gym. This ensures that the body is awake, the muscles have enough oxygen, and the metabolism is activated.
Hydration At The Gym
After getting to the gym, mostdoctors recommenddrinking 7-10 oz of water every 10-20 minutes during exercise. This means that bringing a water bottle to the gym is essential when it comes to being properly hydrated. Taking a water bottle such as aHydroJug is the best way to have enough water without having to refill the bottle.
Hydrating After The Gym
Continuing to drink water after the gym will aid in muscle recovery and overall body function. Athletes that lose weight during exercise should drink about 16-24 oz of water for every pound of body weight lost.
Can Other Drinks Hydrate?
Although water is usually the best way to hydrate,it isn’t the only way to hydrate.
Sports Drinks are a great way to hydrate during intense physical activity lasting longer than an hour. They usually contain salt and electrolytes to help the body retain water and rehydrate faster. They can also provide extra energy during your workout. The only downside is that these drinks contain a lot of sugar.
Tea is another great way to hydrate. Now only does it have great flavor, but tea contains antioxidants that are good for your body as well.
It may come as a surprise but Milk is another way to hydrate your body. It contains natural blends of sodium, carbs and proteins that help the body retain fluids longer.
The amount of water required for proper hydration differs for everyone. Athletes need more water than the average person due to their increased physical activity and the importance of being in peak physical condition for performance. As a rule of thumb, people should be drinking water before, during, and after exercise to avoid dehydration. Having a good water bottle can greatly help with staying hydrated and hitting water intake goals.