April 20th, 2012

Health N' Sports: Hydration

Staff Report


Health N' Sports: Hydration
photo from coreperformance.com

Louisville Orthopaedic shares insight on water intake

As a part of the Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, the Sports Rehab Team physical therapists are knowledgeable and trained in the latest advancements and techniques available in sports rehabilitation.

On a weekly basis, the Health N’ Sports Update will give information on prevention, recovery, and include special offers, as well as general health tips that would be beneficial to all. If there is a specific topic you’d like to know or hear more about, email future suggestions to editor@catholicsportsnet.com.

Proper hydration is essential to everyone in order to maintain your health. It becomes even more important for exercisers who may lose excessive amounts of fluid through sweat output, and as temperatures begin to rise. Water is perhaps the most important nutrient for human life, as it helps regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, and transport other nutrients and waste through the body.

The biggest mistake many exercisers make is waiting until they feel thirsty to drink. Thirst is actually an indicator of mild dehydration, meaning they are behind the hydration curve. It is important to pre-hydrate before exercise, hydrate during exercise, and then replace lost fluids after exercise. It is impossible to make specific recommendations because of the variability of individual needs, but the following guidelines will help get you started and can be tailored to your individual needs.

Before exercise:

  • Drink 15-20 ounces 2-3 hours before exercise
  • Drink 8-10 ounces 10-15 minutes before exercise

During exercise:

  • Drink 8-10 ounces every 10-15 minutes of exercise
  • If exercising more than 90 minutes, consider adding 8-10 ounces of a sports drink every 15-30 minutes (this also helps to stimulate thirst)

After exercise:

  • Weigh yourself before and after exercise and drink 20-24 ounces of water for every pound lost

In hot climates, or during high intensity exercise, these needs may need to be increased to meet the body’s increased demands. Losing as little as two percent of body weight during exercise can result in a drop in blood volume. This can lead to cramps, dizziness, fatigue, and heat illness. Even smaller losses can result in decreased physical performance. If you notice signs of dehydration or heat illness such as confusion, dizziness, lethargy, or light-headedness, seek emergency care immediately as these could be the first signs of life-threatening complications.

 

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