Hydration for Athletes

Whether or not you’re a severe athlete or just train for recreation, it’s essential to remain hydrated. Good hydration means getting the correct amount of water earlier than, throughout, and after train. Water regulates your physique temperature and lubricates your joints. It helps transport vitamins to offer you power and maintain you wholesome. Should you’re not hydrated, your physique can’t carry out at its highest stage. You might really feel drained, have muscle cramps, dizziness, or different severe signs.

Path to improved well being

A easy technique to be sure to’re staying correctly hydrated is to test your urine. In case your urine is normally colorless or gentle yellow, you’re most probably effectively hydrated. Darkish yellow or amber-colored urine could be a signal of dehydration.

How a lot water ought to I drink whereas exercising?

There aren’t any actual guidelines for the way a lot water to drink whereas exercising, as a result of everyone seems to be completely different. You must think about components together with your sweat price, the warmth and humidity in your atmosphere, and the way lengthy and onerous you’re exercising.

The American Council on Train has recommended the next fundamental tips for ingesting water earlier than, throughout, and after train:

  • Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to three hours earlier than you begin exercising.
  • Drink eight ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes earlier than you begin exercising or throughout your warm-up.
  • Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water each 10 to 20 minutes throughout train.
  • Drink eight ounces of water not more than 30 minutes after you train.

Athletes could wish to measure how a lot fluid they lose throughout train to get a extra particular measurement of how a lot water to drink (16 to 24 ounces of water for each pound of physique weight misplaced).

What about sports activities drinks?

For most individuals, water is all that’s wanted to remain hydrated. Nevertheless, if you may be exercising at a excessive depth for longer than an hour, a sports activities drink could also be useful. The energy, potassium, and different vitamins in sports activities drinks can present power and electrolytes that will help you carry out for an extended time period.

Select a sports activities drink properly. They’re typically excessive in energy from added sugar and should comprise excessive ranges of sodium. Additionally, test the serving dimension. One bottle could comprise a number of servings. Should you drink the whole bottle, chances are you’ll have to double or triple the quantities given on the diet information label. Some sports activities drinks comprise caffeine. Should you eat a sports activities drink that comprises caffeine, watch out to not add an excessive amount of caffeine to your weight-reduction plan. Caffeine could trigger a diuretic impact in your physique. Because of this you might have to urinate extra typically.

Issues to contemplate

Dehydration occurs while you lose extra fluid than you drink. When your physique doesn’t have sufficient water, it may well’t work correctly. Dehydration can vary from delicate to extreme. Signs of dehydration can embrace the next:

  • dizziness or lightheaded feeling
  • nausea or vomiting
  • muscle cramps
  • dry mouth
  • lack of sweating
  • onerous, quick heartbeat.

Signs of extreme dehydration can embrace psychological confusion, weak point, and lack of consciousness. It is best to get emergency medical consideration instantly in case you have any of those signs.

What’s warmth sickness?

Warmth sickness can happen when your physique is dehydrated and may’t cool itself successfully throughout train in scorching or humid climate. There are three levels of warmth sickness:

  1. Warmth cramps
  2. Warmth exhaustion
  3. Heatstroke

Signs of warmth cramps embrace painful muscle spasms within the legs, abdomen, arms, or again. Signs of warmth exhaustion are extra severe. They will embrace faint or weak emotions, nausea, headache, quick heartbeat, and low blood stress.

Probably the most severe heat-related sickness is heatstroke. Signs can embrace excessive physique temperature (larger than 104°F), quick heartbeat, flushed pores and skin, quick respiratory, and probably even delirium, lack of consciousness, or seizures. It is best to get emergency medical consideration instantly if you happen to expertise any of the signs of heatstroke. Untreated heatstroke can result in dying.

How a lot water is an excessive amount of?

This is determined by your physique and the sort of exercise you’re doing. Speak to your loved ones physician in case you have questions on the correct amount of water to drink whereas exercising.

When to see a health care provider

It is best to see a health care provider instantly in case you have signs of dehydration, warmth exhaustion, or heatstroke. You must also see a health care provider in case you have signs of a uncommon situation known as hyponatremia. These embrace confusion, headache, vomiting, and swelling of the fingers and toes.

Questions on your physician

  • How a lot water ought to I drink every day?
  • How far more water ought to I drink when I’m exercising?
  • What’s one of the simplest ways for me to forestall dehydration?
  • Am I extra in danger for changing into dehydrated?
  • Does altitude have an effect on hydration?


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Protect Athletes from Heat-Related Illness

National Institutes of Health, MedlinePlus: Dehydration

American Council on Exercise, Healthy Hydration

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