Don’t Wait to Hydrate!
You can become dehydrated if you lose more water than you take in. Sweating during a grueling summer job, a workout, or a competition can zap the water right out of you. Dehydration can hinder your athletic performance or even endanger your health by leading to fatigue and heat-related problems. Make sure you drink enough fluids to stay safe and at the top of your game!
Why Is Getting Enough Water Important?
Although your body needs more water when you are physically active or in hot weather, you need to get enough water every day. Water is an essential nutrient that helps the body regulate temperature, protect sensitive tissues, and eliminate wastes. Water also is free of calories and caffeine, making it a wise beverage choice. Drinking enough water every day can help prevent your body from overheating and help you avoid other health conditions, such as constipation and kidney stones.
What Are Signs of Dehydration?
Thirst can be one sign of dehydration. Other signs include:
- Sticky or dry mouth
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Inability to make tears
- Decrease in the amount of urine
- Dark-colored urine
How Can You Prevent Dehydration?
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after working in the heat, a workout, or a competition.
- Drink cool water for exercise that lasts less than an hour. A sports drink may be beneficial for longer or more intense workouts.
- Avoid carbonated drinks or drinks that have caffeine or alcohol.
- Drink about 7–10 ounces (200–300 mL) of cool water or sports drink every 10–20 minutes during exercise.
- Check your urine: If it is plentiful and pale yellow or clear, you are getting enough fluids.
- Weigh yourself before and after your workout. Drink approximately 2–3 cups (470–710 mL) of fluids for every pound you have lost.
- Make sure you are rehydrated within 2 hours after your workout.
Can You Drink Too Much Fluid?
Although it is uncommon, drinking too much water is possible. Drinking too much water can cause the body’s sodium levels to become dangerously low, which can be life-threatening. Drinking fluids is safe when you drink the amount you need to replace sweat loss
Is It Safe to Drop Water Weight on Purpose?
Some athletes try to drop water weight by sweating in saunas, using laxatives, or taking diuretics (drugs that make you urinate more). These practices can hurt athletic performance and lead to serious health problems.
Talk With Your Healthcare Professional
Each individual’s fluid needs vary based on age, size, activity level, and other factors, including certain medications and medical conditions. Work with your healthcare professional to determine your particular fluid requirements to ensure that you are properly hydrated at all times.