Staying well hydrated before, during, and after workouts is an important consideration for optimal performance. Dehydration (loss of greater than 2% of body weight) can compromise performance and may impair mental/cognitive performance. If you are thirsty, you are most likely dehydrated; therefore it is a good idea to drink beyond your thirst. Read the recommendations below for tips on how to stay hydrated during training.
Tip #1 Pre-Workout Hydration: Drink at least 16oz of fluid in 1-2 hours prior to exercise. Sip on fluids (preferably sports drinks) until your race begins.
Tip #2 Hydration During Workouts: To know how much water or liquid to drink during training - calculate your sweat rate: 1) Weigh yourself naked and then exercise for 60 minutes 2) Weigh yourself naked again. 3) Drink one pint (16 oz) of liquid for every pound lost (plus the amount you drank during that hour). This gives you a general idea of how much to drink during activity, which is the amount of water your body will require during training. Drinking to much water can lead to "Hyponatremia" - a dangerous
condition where sodium (NaCl) in your blood becomes diluted by fluids (this usually takes about 3-4 hours of water consumption).
Tip #3 Post-Workout Hydration: Rehydration should be based on your sweat rate; weigh yourself before and after an hour of intense exercise, and drink 20-24 ounces of fluid per pound of body weight lost.
Attached is a quick facts sheet on hydration from SCAN (the sports nutrition sub unit of the American Dietetic Association).
Check out our blog next week for more nutrition tips on how to fuel the body during training!