It may be autumn, but in Houston that doesn’t mean athletes are any less at risk for dehydration. Whether you’re out on the practice field or in the heat of competition, make sure you’re following these essential tips for staying hydrated. For more, let’s take a closer look at a recent infographic from Hospital for Special Surgery, which covers “Fluid Facts.”
5 Tips for Staying Hydrated
- Plan ahead. Start hydrating before practice. You know your schedule, so take the necessary steps to plan for hydrating!
- Have sources of fluid available. Pack water bottles and sports drinks to take with you to practice or the game.
- Build in breaks during training. As an athlete, you want to push yourself to become faster, better, and stronger. But you also have to take breaks. Build in breaks for hydrating and you will improve your speed, strength and endurance.
- Have appetizing sources of fluid available. (If you like flavor, add a lemon wedge.) If you need a little extra motivation to hydrate, bring along a sports drink or a hydrating beverage that you enjoy drinking.
- Listen to your body. If you’re thirsty, drink. If your urine is dark, drink. Your body will tell you when you need water! Ideally, you will hydrate properly before your body sends out an SOS. But, if not, just pay attention to the signs your body’s signaling!
As a general rule, consume 4-6 ounces of fluid for every 15-20 minutes of training.
6 Symptoms of Dehydration
You might be dehydrated if you…
- Are thirsty.
- Have a headache.
- Have a dry, sticky mouth.
- Have decreased urine output.
- Experience rapid heartbeat.
- Experience fatigue.
You might be dehydrated if your pre-workout weight is 2-3% greater than your post-workout weight. For example, if you weigh 160 lb before a workout and then weigh in at 155.2 – 156.8 lb, then you may be dehydrated.
To stay hydrated, drink water or sports drinks (especially for prolonged exercise or training of 60 minutes or more). Avoid soda, energy drinks, and alcohol.
Schedule With Dr. Rosemary Buckle
For other Houston sports medicine needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosemary Buckle at Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics by calling (713) 756-5546.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.