WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO STAY HYDRATED DURING PHYSICAL EXERCISE?
Staying hydrated during physical exercise is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and preventing dehydration-related issues. Here are some guidelines for maintaining proper hydration during exercise:
Pre-hydration: Drink water throughout the day, aiming for at least 8-10 glasses. About 2-3 hours before exercise, drink 16-20 ounces (500-600 ml) of water. Then, 20-30 minutes before exercising, drink another 8-10 ounces (250-300 ml).
Hydration during exercise: During exercise, aim to drink 7-10 ounces (200-300 ml) of water every 10-20 minutes. Adjust your intake based on factors such as your sweat rate, the intensity and duration of the activity, and environmental conditions like temperature and humidity.
Sports drinks: For exercise lasting longer than 60 minutes or high-intensity workouts, consider using a sports drink containing electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium) and carbohydrates. These drinks can help replace lost electrolytes and provide an energy boost. However, be mindful of the sugar content in some sports drinks and choose one that best suits your needs.
Monitor urine color: A general indicator of hydration status is urine color. Aim for a pale-yellow color, which suggests adequate hydration. Darker urine indicates dehydration, while completely clear urine might mean overhydration.
Weigh yourself before and after exercise: One way to gauge your hydration status is by weighing yourself before and after your workout. For each pound (0.45 kg) of weight loss, aim to replace it with 16-24 ounces (500-700 ml) of water.
Listen to your body: Be aware of your body's thirst signals and drink water accordingly. Don't wait until you're extremely thirsty to start hydrating.
Adjust for environmental factors: In hot and humid conditions, you may need to increase your fluid intake to compensate for increased sweat loss. In colder temperatures, you may not feel as thirsty but should still maintain adequate hydration.
Remember that individual hydration needs vary, and factors such as age, weight, fitness level, and exercise intensity can influence your specific requirements. Always listen to your body and adjust your hydration strategy as needed.
Here are some reputable sources from my training data up to September 2021 that support the guidelines for maintaining proper hydration during exercise:
Pre-hydration and hydration during exercise:
Sawka, M. N., Burke, L. M., Eichner, E. R., Maughan, R. J., Montain, S. J., & Stachenfeld, N. S. (2007). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and fluid replacement. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 39(2), 377-390. https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0b013e31802ca597
Casa, D. J., Armstrong, L. E., Hillman, S. K., Montain, S. J., Reiff, R. V., Rich, B. S., ... & Stone, J. A. (2000). National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Fluid replacement for athletes. Journal of Athletic Training, 35(2), 212-224. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1323428/
Monitoring urine color:
Armstrong, L. E. (2000). Performing in Extreme Environments. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Weighing before and after exercise:
Maughan, R. J., & Shirreffs, S. M. (2010). Development of individual hydration strategies for athletes. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 20(2), 116-123. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.20.2.116
Adjusting for environmental factors:
Cheuvront, S. N., & Kenefick, R. W. (2014). Dehydration: Physiology, assessment, and performance effects. Comprehensive Physiology, 4(1), 257-285. https://doi.org/10.1002/cphy.c130017
Please note that these sources may not be the most recent, and it is recommended to search for more up-to-date literature when researching the topic of hydration during exercise.