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Proper Hydration

Want to perform your best? Drink up these healthy tips on proper hydration.

Sweat it out

When you’re at play, you need to sweat. It helps your body stay cool. But, when you sweat, you lose sodium chloride and potassium as well as water from throughout your whole body. That includes your blood, heart and entire cardiovascular system.

If you are even mildly dehydrated, you strain these body parts causing your heart rate to rise. This limits your body’s ability to transfer heat from the muscles to the skin surface where heat can escape.

Sweat rates vary from 0.5-3.7 liters/hour, depending on exercise intensity, weather conditions, clothing, ability to acclimate to high temperatures and individual factors for each athlete. Everyone sweats differently, so it’s hard to say exactly how much fluid you need to replenish your body.

Tips to Stay Hydrated

Jonathan Chappell, MD, a sports medicine expert with Wake Orthopaedics offers these simple solutions to stay hydrated.

Hydrating for a short workout

If you work out for an hour or less, drink water throughout your workout.

Hydrating for long workouts & events

The ideal fluid is a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink (sports drink) that both replaces fluids lost from sweating and provides carbohydrate fuel.

  • Drink adequate fluids for 24 hours before your sporting event. Your urine should be light colored to almost clear. If you urinate every 45 minutes (or more frequently), back off the fluids. You may be drinking too much.
  • Drink 10-17 ounces of fluids two hours before your athletic event.
  • Drink regularly during practice and pre-match warm-ups.
  • During exercise try to drink fluids at a rate that matches your sweat loss.
  • Drink cool fluids (59-72 degrees)
  • Weigh yourself before and after an athletic event. Weight lost during the event correlates to lost body water. Each pound lost should be replaced with 16-24 ounces of fluid.

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