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Hydration for optimal performance

Many nutrition-focused athletes neglect a key part of their sports nutrition plan: proper hydration. It’s easy to overlook the importance of getting enough fluids in your body, but dehydration can severely undermine your exercise goals. Generally speaking, if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated--so start your hydration routine early to maximize your workout performance!

WHY PROPER HYDRATION IS SO IMPORTANT FOR PERFORMANCE:

  • Dehydration can lead to a drop in blood volume, which causes muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue, and heat illnesses.
  • When exercising in very hot conditions and/or at high intensity for 60 minutes or more, you might consider a sports drink, which helps replenish stores of potassium, sodium, and other electrolytes

WHEN TO

USE IT

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THROUGHOUT THE DAY

Your goal should always be to stay hydrated throughout the day, regardless of when you work out. Make sure you’re hydrated before working out, when you will lose water faster through sweating.

 

HOW MUCH

TO TAKE

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Aim to drink 8-10 fl oz 15 minutes before you start your workout, and 8-10 fl oz every 15 minutes throughout your exercise routine. If you’re concerned about fluid loss from a high-intensity workout, weigh yourself after you’re done working out and replace fluids at a rate of 24 fl oz for every pound lost.

DAILY NEEDS

VARIED BY

FITNESS

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How much you should drink and what you use to rehydrate your body depends on how and where you exercise. Working out in high altitudes and in hot weather can substantially increase your need for fluids.

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ENDURANCE

Endurance athletes may want to consider sports drinks for during their workouts, especially in hot or dry conditions. Water is sufficient for endurance activities that are less than 1 hour in length.


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STRENGTH

If you’re strength training, you can most likely stay hydrated with just water. However, replenishing your fluids with a drink that includes some protein can help your muscles grow and recover after a hard workout.

 

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