Tips to help athletes stay hydrated this summer
Do you carry your water bottle with you everywhere you go? Do you never run out of water at practice because you always bring extra? Do you drink water or sports drinks for hydration? These are all great questions and things to consider as an athlete. It is important for you to plan your water intake throughout the day for hydration and performance. Lisa Money, RDN, shared these tips to help make sure you are well hydrated, especially as the summer heat arrives.
- Drink 1–2 cups of cool water four hours before practice. More if it is over 85 degrees outside.
- Drink one more cup of water if your urine is darker an hour before practice.
- Consistently drink fluids. Aim for a half a cup to a cup of fluid every 20 minutes.
- Rehydrate during the two hours immediately following practice. This will help you bounce back like the pros.
Now that you understand hydration is important, should you be drinking water or a sports drink? Here are some tips to help you know when the right time is to pick up the sports drink.
Sports drinks vs. water.
- Sports drinks may be the best choice for practices lasting longer than 60 minutes. Sports drinks provide carbs for fuel and electrolytes to replace salt lost during longer practices.
If you see salt (white) marks on your face or clothing after practice, then sports drinks are going to help hydrate you best regardless of the length of practice.
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