The summer heat is relentless and there doesn’t seem to be any relief in sight. Hydration during exercise and summer sports is critical. Did you know that thirst isn't usually perceived until 1-2% of your water body weight is lost? That 1-2% loss can impact aerobic endurance. Losing 3% impacts muscular endurance.
Even small amounts of water loss during exercise can greatly impact performance. Sweat loss can decrease blood volume there making the heart work harder to pump blood through the body. Because the heart is working harder, heart rate and temperature must go up also to keep up with the cardiac output.
Athletes should plan their fluid intake instead of relying on thirst alone to guide them. Staying hydrated is key to fueling your workout. Here are few tips:
How much water do I need?
According to most literature, a safe general recommendation for daily fluid intake is about 12 cups per day. About 4 cups of that comes from your food so that means that the remaining 8 should be from purposeful intake. A few things might impact that such as climate, body size and activity level.
When performing exercise and sports, here are some recommendations for hydration:
Before, During and After Exercise:
- Consume about 16 ounces about 30 minutes before exercise
- Consume about 8 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes during exercise.
- If sweating excessively consider a drink a beverage with 6-8% carbohydrate and electrolyte content to replenish lost electrolytes and minerals.
- Consume about 8-32 ounces of fluids post-exercise
We hope this is helpful as you seek to stay hydrated and fuel your performance at the gym!