Don't wait to hydrate until your feel thirsty! If your thirst mechanism is triggered, you are already showing signs of dehydration. Optimize your sports performance by following a hydration plan and make adjusts based on factors such as weather and exertion.
Dehydration can lead to:
· ↓ Muscle Strength
· ↓ Speed and Stamina
· ↓ Energy
· ↑ Risk for injury
Avoiding all these negative effects can be the difference between winning, losing and staying healthy. Therefore, it is vital to rehydrate before, during and after practicing or playing games.
When should I rehydrate?
· Close to practice/competition you should be consuming liquid calories, such as, Sports drinks
· 2-3 hours before training, consume 17 ounces of fluids
· 8oz (1cup) immediately prior to competition or practice
· 2-4 cups (16-32oz) of sports drinks per hour (ideally) or
· 1 cup (8oz) every 15-20mins
· If the practice or competition is longer than an hour try to consume carbohydrates as you hydrate
o Sports drinks are the ideal method rather than trying to eat foods
· Aim to start hydrating immediately after practice/competition or at least within 30 minutes post-practice/competition
· Consume at least 24oz for every pound lost from training or exercise.
· The recommendations above are guidelines and should be used as such. Each individual will be different
· To avoid over hydration do not drink more than you sweat
· Try to drink sports drinks because they contain some sodium and carbohydrates
Sources: Boston University Sargent Choice Nutrition Center: Nutrition Advisers for Boston University Men’s Soccer.
Villanova University Nutrition Center- http://www1.villanova.edu/content/dam/villanova/studentlife/documents/healthpromotion/Hydration%20guideline%20for%20athletes.pdf