Sports Training & Conditioning Zone!

Five Keys to Staying Hydrated

By Joel Totoro, Performance Dietitian at EXOS

Drinking sufficient water increases energy, improves the quality of skin and fascia, keeps muscles and joints lubricated, improves overall health, and helps prevent overeating. Hydration impacts your brain and your mental ability and overall performance.

So you'd think it wouldn't be difficult to convince athletes to drink sufficient water. And it's not if you remind athletes to do these five things to put their hydration on autopilot:

Meet Your Foundational Hydration Needs

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that men consume 3.7 liters and women consume 2.7 liters of fluid per day. The fluid should be calorie free. Sports drinks are designed for intense sport, not for supporting foundational hydration.

Drink ½ to 1 ounce of fluid per pound per day. This should be made up of water and other naturally calorie-free beverages, like green tea. Jump-start your hydration by beginning your day with 16 ounces of water as soon as you wake up.

Stay Hydrated During Activity

Losing just 2 percent of your body weight due to fluid loss decreases performance. Cramping has been linked to electrolyte loss, specifically sodium loss. Choose a hydration beverage like Catalyte Isotonic that has at least 200 milligrams of sodium per 8 ounces to maximize electrolyte replacement. Though hydration needs can vary from person to person, here are some general guidelines:

• Pre-training (1-2 hours before), drink 17-20 ounces
• Immediately before training, drink 7-10 ounces
• During training (every 10-15 minutes), drink 7-10 ounces
• Post-training, drink 20 ounces for every pound loss

Keep it Cold

Drinking cold water during your workout can keep your body temperature cooler for longer, decreasing heat-related stress and fatigue, according to a 2012 published in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and based on research at EXOS.

EXOS researchers found that when male athletes drank cold water (40ºF), the rise in body temperature was delayed by at least 30 minutes compared to 15 minutes when they drank room temperature water (72ºF).

Think Like a Camel

Take a water bottle wherever you go, including the car, to the office, and during air travel. This will remind you to meet your daily hydration needs. Empty your water bottle – preferably by drinking – before going through an airport security checkpoint and refill on the other side. Keep a small cooler in the car, especially during the summer months, so cold water is always available.

Choose a Popsicle

Kids aren't the only ones who enjoy and benefit from popsicles. At EXOS, our athletes enjoy Catalyte popsicles. Mix a normal serving of Catalyte (one scoop of powder with 9 ounces of water). Pour into molds, freeze, and enjoy. Depending on the size of the molds, which typically are 3 ounces apiece, you might need to consume multiple popsicles. You shouldn't have a hard time convincing a kid of any age to do that.

For more nutrition tips from EXOS, follow @EXOSfuel on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

(July 2015)

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