With the temps and humidity climbing as we head into July, it’s time to take another look at your hydration patterns. Are you heading out for training well-hydrated or are you trying to make up for neglected hydration during training?
To help you navagate this critical part of your training, here are some guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine:
1. Drink 16-20 fluid ounces of water at least 4 hours before exercise
2. Drink 8-12 fluid ounces of water 10-15 minutes before exercise
1. Drink 3-8 fluid ounces of water every 15-20 minutes when exercising less than 60 minutes
2. Drink 3-8 fluid ounces of a sports beverage (5-8% carbohydrate with electrolytes) every 15-20 minutes when exercising more than 60 minutes
3. Do not drink more than one quart per hour during exercise
Following these guidelines will help you stay hydrated but it’s important to remember that there is a high degree of variability in fluid loss between athletes. If you’re wondering how to tell if you’re getting dehydrated , you can weigh yourself (without clothes) before and after your workout. (Workout clothes will be sweaty after practice and throw off the measure of weight you lost through sweat).
Compare your pre- and post- training weight to see where you fit in this chart:
% Body Weight Change
Well Hydrated -1 to +1%
Minimal Dehydration -1 to -3%
Significant Dehydration -3 to -5%
Serious Dehydration > -5%
Based on these numbers, you should have a good feel for if your hydration patterns are sufficient for the temperature, humidity, and workout intensity and duration. Now you’ll be able to make educated adjustments going forward. Remember, not only is dehydration dangerous, it also impairs your thinking and reflexes. If you want to excel, you have to stay hydrated!
Interested in more education on the science of hydration? Click here to read ACSM’s handout on Selecting and Effectively using Hydration for Fitness!