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Elizabeth Quinn

A Personal Sports Hydration Plan

By April 2, 2012

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The best way to learn your personal hydration requirements during exercise is as easy as stepping on a scale.  Weigh yourself (in the buff) before and after each workout session and you will begin to become familiar with your own water requirements for exercise. Doing this regularly can help you understand how much you need to hydrate and how your body processes the water you do consume.

The formula is simple: measure your body weight before and after your workouts and subtract the weight of any liquids you consumed during training. If you start out at 170 and wind up at 168 and consumed 32 ounces (1 Pound = 16 Ounces) of water during your workout, you aren't keeping up with your fluid needs. You actually need another 32 ounces to get back to your pre-workout hydration level. Of course, an athlete's hydration levels change all the time, and so will this number. The trick is to do this regularly until you learn your individual needs in a variety of situations. Getting familiar this number over time, can help you determine your fluid requirements during different levels of intensity and different exercise duration.

The general recommendations for most athletes is to consume about 8-10 fl oz every 10-15 min during exercise. but some athletes require more, and some less. Learn more about the ins and outs of proper hydration for athletes.

Dehydration and Performance

Research suggests that once an athlete loses 2 percent of body weight due to dehydration, sports performance is more likely to suffer. Dehydration causes the heart beat to increases and the core temperature to rise. The more body mass you loss, the more your performance declines.

Basic advice for proper hydration for atheltes

1. Learn Your Personal Hydration Needs
Take the time to figure out what works best for you during training and follow that program during competition. Don't try something new, use a novel sports drink, or start drinking more or less on race day. To avoid unpleasent GI surprises, what you drink during races should be the same as what you drink during training.

2. Check Urine Color
A large amount of light colored, diluted urine is a good indication that you are well-hydrated. If your urine is dark or concentrated (think apple juice), you probably need to drink more.

3. Drink a Little , Drink Early and Drink Often
It's better to drink a little bit frequently thatn to wait for a break to down a liter of liquid all at once. Train yourself to sip rather than chug, and reach for the water bottle often.

Can You Over-hydrate?
rare, it is possible to drink too much water and suffer from hyponatremia (water intoxication). Drinking excessive amounts of water can cause a low concentration of sodium in the blood. This can become a life-threatening medical emergency.

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