Feeling unusually fatigued during workouts or athletic training? Check your hydration levels. Muscle cramps, body fatigue, joint pain, headaches and lack of concentration and focus are all symptoms of dehydration.

After the breath, water is the most important thing we can take into our body for normal body functioning and sports performance. Water flushes out metabolic waste products, maintains the body’s cooling system, prevents muscle cramps, strains and pulls, keeps our joints lubricated and transports nutrients.

water drink

Slight dips in your fluid levels — even a 2% drop! — can impair your training performance (fatigue, pain, cramping, lack of concentration). But relying on thirst or perspiration, which often lag behind need, is not enough to keep you out of the danger zone. Proper hydration starts before your sport training.

Follow these 5 Hydration Tips for Athletes to maintain your proper hydration levels and to avoid sports training deficits and injury.

Fill your water tank during the day, not just before sports training or an athletic event.

Know how much water your body needs for the day. The amount you hydrate depends upon your sports fitness level, training intensity, temperature and acclimation. Your weight/2 = how many ounces of water needed each day. Example: A 124 pound runner would need 62 ounces of water (about 7-8 cups) a day.

What color is your morning pee? If your urine looks like apple juice or iced tea in the morning, chances are you may need to step up your hydration. Shoot for a lemon-aide color.

Time your drinking.
Before sports training:
-drink 12-24 fluid ounces 3 hours prior to training or event.
-drink 8 ounces 15 minutes prior training or event.

During sports training:

-drink 8-10 ounces every 15 minutes.
-after 45-60 minutes of intense training, switch to a sports drink with a good balance of water, carbohydrates and electrolytes.

Know your sweat rate.
1. Determine your pre-sports training weight.
2. Determine the number of fluid ounces consumed during training
3. Determine your post-sports training weight.
4. Drink 24-32 ounces of water or sport drink for every 1 pound lost during sports training.

Proper hydration is just as important to your performance as training, rest and recover. Include hydration planning in your overall nutritional blueprint to ensure sports safety and wellness.

FYI:
1 ounce = about 1 gulp
8 ounces = 1 cup
16 ounces = 1 pound