Hydration! Hydration! Hydration!
There’s a lot of info here, but it’s worth every second of your time.
By Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD – Sports Dietitian
Adequate hydration is essential for ALL athletes of ALL sports. Even a 2% dehydration level can decrease performance; it is important that you consume fluids all day, not just around your workout or
game. The 2004 Dietary Reference Intake recommendations state that adequate intake of fluid is 3.7 liters/day (130oz or 16 cups) for males and 2.7 liters/day (95oz or 12 cups) for females. Now does this
mean JUST water…NO! You can get adequate “fluid” from a variety of drinks and foods.
Effects of Dehydration
• Muscle cramps, tears, pulls, strains • Nausea
• Dry mouth • Increased muscle soreness
• Joint pain • Lightheadedness / headache
• Increased time needed for recovery • Heat exhaustion
• Decreased performance • Heat stroke
• Fatigue • Susceptibility to colds and sickness
What Counts as Fluid?
• Water • Fruit juice
• Flavored waters like Crystal Light • Coffee
• Sports drinks • Fruits
• Tea • Vegetables
• Smoothies • Soup
• 2-3 hours pre-exercise: 16-20 oz fluid (approximately one bottle
water or sports drink)
• 10 minutes before workout/game: 5-10 oz fluid (water or sports
• Very individualized to athlete’s sweat rate, but a general rule is
5-10 oz water or sports drink every 15-20 minutes
• After one hour of exercise, make sure you are consuming some
sports drink as carbohydrate
• If it is extremely hot and humid, rely more on a sports drink to
ensure adequate carbohydrate and electrolytes (sodium, chloride,
potassium); you may also need to drink a greater quantity
• Consume 24 oz of fluid (water or sports drink) for every pound
lost during exercise
-If needing rapid rehydration due to multiple matches, 2-a-day practices, or other sporting events, consume 24oz of fluid for every pound lost (150%)
• Including sodium post exercise (sports drinks or salty foods) will help retain ingested fluids and stimulate thirst
Ways to Measure Hydration Levels
• Urine color: Urine should be lemonade color; if it looks like apple juice…you are dehydrated!
• Body weight: Weigh yourself pre and post exercise to determine how much fluid is needed to rehydrate your body adequately