The loss of even 2 percent body water weight (3 pounds for a 150-pound athlete) during an exercise bout can inhibit physical and mental performance.
Tips to avoid dehydration
- Arrive at your event hydrated so you are not playing catch-up.
- Begin hydrating within the first 30 minutes of the exercise bout.
- Take sips of fluid often during exercise. Avoid feeling bloated, but keep up with sweat loss.
- Drink during meals (also helps lower calorie intake if needed).
- Carry a water bottle with you through the day. Spread out your fluid intake.
- Drink fluids besides water to avoid thirst fatigue, but avoid sugary drinks right before exercise.
- Don’t always rely on the feeling of thirst — you may have already lost 1.5-2 liters of water.
- Remember foods with high water content can help (fruits, vegetables, oatmeal and yogurt are all at least 80 percent water).
- Room temperature water is easier to consume in large quantities without causing nausea.
The benefits of staying hydrated
- Increases BMR (calories burned).
- It delays fatigue.
- Lowers perceived exertion.
- Minimizes nausea during exercise.
- Maintains the body’s core temperature.
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