Water serves in numerous roles in cellular functions; performs a variety of metabolic functions, interacts with nutrients to lubricate organs and joints. All the while transporting molecules throughout the body. One’s need for water is based on the type of foods ingested, intensity of activity, temperature, humidity, individual perspiration rates, age, and fitness level. Without question water is the most important nutritional aid for athletes. Below are some guide lines pulled from the International Society of Sport Nutrition “Essentials of Sports Nutrition and Supplements.”
Prime – Drink 32-48 ounces of water before an intense bout of training or event(1).
Perform – It’s been observed that performance declines when 2% of body weight is lost through perspiration. Normal sweet rate is between 0.5-2.0L per hour, thus replenishment of fluids should be 6-8 ounces of water every 5-15 minutes to prevent dehydration(1).
Recover – Drink 24 ounces of water for every pound lost during the activity (Don’t carry a scale with you? Personally, I assume I lost 1.5 pounds, and consume 28 ounces of water post workout.) If you are able to track your weight; sports nutritionalist state if one looses 2-3 pounds during an event then not enough
liquid was consumed (1).
Glucose Electrolyte Solution (a.k.a. sports drinks)
Consuming GES is an excepted method of hydrating and reducing fatigue. Research shows that individuals participating in intense training for more than 1 hour, especially in hot humid weather, benefit from ingesting GES in the following ways; consuming GES during a training secession will enhance endurance capacity, delay central fatigue, and improve immune function(1).
The Bottom Line
Be sure to stay hydrated out there this spring, and summer. Staying properly hydrated will fight off injury, sickness, improve performance, and mood.
I am not a physician, RD, or hold a PhD in Sports Science, or any other current credentials. This information is what I know to be the best information for staying hydrated. I would suggest you talk to your health care provider before pounding the pavement this summer, stay safe!
(1) International Society of Sports Nutrition Essentials of Sports Nutrition and Supplements, (c)2008 Humana Press