The Importance Of Hydration and Athletes

a man drinking water from a bottle during workouts

Whether you’re a serious athlete or simply exercise for recreation, it’s important to stay hydrated. The importance of hydration means getting the right amount of water before, during, and after exercise. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. It helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you’re not hydrated, your body can’t perform at its highest level. You may feel tired, have muscle cramps, dizziness, or other serious symptoms.

Whether you are playing 36 holes of golf in a day, on the tennis court, or are simply a weekend warrior, lack of hydration can drastically affect your game and your ability to sustain the endurance needed to pull out the win.  Hydration is key!

Path to improved health

A simple way to make sure you’re staying properly hydrated is to check your urine. If your urine is usually colorless or light yellow, you are most likely well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber-colored urine can be a sign of dehydration.

How much water should I drink while exercising?

There are no exact rules for how much water to drink while exercising, because everyone is different. You need to consider factors including your sweat rate, the heat and humidity in your environment, and how long and hard you are exercising.

the benefits of staying hydrated diagram

The American Council on Exercise has suggested the following basic guidelines for drinking water before, during, and after exercise:

  • Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising.
  • Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during your warm-up.
  • Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
  • Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise.

Athletes may want to measure how much fluid they lose during exercise to get a more specific measurement of how much water to drink (16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound of body weight lost).

What about sports drinks?

For most people, water is all that is needed to stay hydrated. However, if you will be exercising at a high intensity for longer than an hour, a sports drink may be helpful. The calories, potassium, and other nutrients in sports drinks can provide energy and electrolytes to help you perform for a longer period of time.

Multiple studies have shown the benefits of consuming sports drinks with carbohydrates for optimal sports performance.6789 Carbohydrate-fortified beverages improve exercise performance in an effect that is independent of and additive to its effects on preventing dehydration. However, like fluid volume, the amount of carbohydrate matters. Anything over 7% causes delayed gastric emptying and slows absorption. 3-4% of daily value for carbohydrates is the ideal concentration. 

Electrolytes can be a source of confusion and debate. Our body has mechanisms in the skin to aid the reabsorption of sodium from our sweat. The concentration of sodium in our sweat is actually 3.5 times less concentrated than in our blood, while the concentration of potassium in our sweat is 2.5 times more concentrated than in our blood.Most people focus on sodium when it comes to electrolyte replacement. However, potassium should not be forgotten. The typical American diet contains far more sodium than is recommended, and falls significantly short on potassium. Potassium is critical for energy production during the metabolism of glycogen in the muscle. Low potassium levels can lead to decreased energy and endurance. 

Choose a sports drink wisely. They are often high in calories from added sugar and may contain high levels of sodium. Also, check the serving size. One bottle may contain several servings. If you drink the entire bottle, you may need to double or triple the amounts given on the nutrition facts label. Some sports drinks contain caffeine. If you consume a sports drink that contains caffeine, be careful not to add too much caffeine to your diet. Caffeine may cause a diuretic effect on your body. This means that you may have to urinate more often.

A new way to hydrate.

water being pour into a glassware

Vitaflow Sport is passionate about bringing products to the market that solve the common issues athletes face.  We are currently working on a hydration stick that is going to revolutionize the way athletes are able to rehydrate on the field, court, or on the course.  Our product is going to replace the unwanted high sugar sports drinks, and truly work with your body to rehydrate and give you the sustained support you need to bring your game to your highest best.  Stay tuned!!! 

Live Life In The Flow!!  Visit us at www.vitaflowsport.com

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