Fluids and Hydration

Topics: Water, Dehydration, Sugar, Electrolyte, Carbohydrate, Drink / Pages: 5 (1001 words) / Published: Oct 9th, 1999
How important are fluids?

Fluid replacement is probably the most important nutritional

concern for athletes. Approximately 60% of your body weight is

water. As you exercise, fluid is lost through your skin as sweat and

through your lungs when you breathe. If this fluid is not replaced

at regular intervals during exercise, you can become dehydrated.

When you are dehydrated, you have a smaller volume of blood

circulating through your body. Consequently, the amount of blood

your heart pumps with each beat decreases and your exercising

muscles do not receive enough oxygen from your blood. Soon

exhaustion sets in and your athletic performance suffers.

If you have lost as little as 2% of your body weight due to

dehydration, it can adversely affect your athletic performance. For

example, if you are a 150-pound athlete and you lose 3 pounds

during a workout, your performance will start to suffer unless you

replace the fluid you have lost. Proper fluid replacement is the key

to preventing dehydration and reducing the risk of heat injury

during training and competition.

How can I prevent dehydration?

The best way to prevent dehydration is to maintain body fluid

levels by drinking plenty of fluids before, during, and after a

workout or race. Often athletes are not aware that they are losing

body fluid or that their performance is being impacted by


If you are not sure how much fluid to drink, you can monitor your

hydration using one of these methods.

1.Weight: Weigh yourself before practice and again after practice.

For every pound you lose during the workout you will need to

drink 2 cups of fluid to rehydrate your body.

2.Urine color: Check the color of your urine. If it is a dark gold color

like apple juice, you are dehydrated. If you are well hydrated, the

color of your urine will look like pale lemonade.

Thirst is not an accurate indicator of how much fluid you have lost.

If you

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