Hydration for Athletes

BY LEAH HINKEY

75% of americans suffer from chronic dehydration, that means you are probably dehydrated right now.

You might be sick of hearing your coaches or parents saying over and over drink more water. I know, it gets repetitive and annoying! During preseason, my college coach would make the whole team run suicides if he saw one of us walking to class, practice, weights or anywhere without a water bottle in our hand. Seems easy to just carry your bottle around everywhere you go, but we ended up running everyday.

Over the past month, I have been asking every athlete that comes into VIBE on average how much water they drink during the day. I heard one of two answers consistently: only 1 maybe 2 12 oz water bottles or they don’t drink water only Gatorade.

When I was in highschool, I was the kid that would only drink 1 to 2 water bottles a day and remember my dad and track coach always on me about needing to drink more. I don’t know why it was so hard for me to just drink more water, instead I would was just get frustrated with them for telling me what to do.

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First of all, knowing the crazy amounts of benefits of properly hydrating your body should help. Here are a select few:

  • Regulates your body temperature

  • Lubricates your joints

  • Transports nutrients to give you energy

  • Fires up your metabolism

  • Flushes out toxins to keep you healthy

  • Fuels your brain

If you're not hydrated, your body can't perform at its highest level. You will feel tired, sore, stiff and have a tough time recovering from workouts.

Okay, so now that you are interested in drinking more water to be able to perform at a higher level, just how much water should you be drinking?

If you are training regularly, you will probably need between one half and one whole ounce of water (or other fluids) for each pound of body weight per day.

To determine your baseline range for water requirement, use the following formula:

Low end of range = Body weight (lbs) x 0.5 = (ounces of fluid/day)

High end of range = Body weight (lbs) x 1.0 = (ounces of fluid/day)

For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, your approximate water requirement will be between 70 and 140 ounces each day.

Think, that is just 3 24 oz sized hydroflasks!

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Staying hydrated can be tough, here are some tricks to help:

  • Develop a killer morning habit of drinking 16 oz of water right after you wake up, you will be on the right track to being hydrated throughout your day.
  • Always always always have a hydroflask with you wherever you go!
  • Adding in hydration supplements
  • Drinking lemon or naturally flavored water.

 

When you are training you are losing electrolytes and fluids with exertion.

Only drinking water to replace lost electrolytes won’t do the trick. You need to be mixing in a supplement that contains sodium, potassium and carbohydrates. Electrolytes help regulate the body’s fluid balance while the carbs provide energy.  

 

Which brings me to my second point for the kids who only drink Gatorade and lots of it.

Gatorade has some great benefits to help replace those lost electrolytes and provide carbs but should only be consumed in very small amounts. Unfortunately, there is an excessive amount of sugar and other unhealthy additives in Gatorade that will lead to weight gain and other health issues.

Next time you drink one of these, check out the label...A 12-ounce serving contains 21 grams of sugar. But because a regular bottle of Gatorade contains 32 ounces, you’re actually getting 56 grams of sugar!!

On the bright side for you Gatorade addicts, there are better alternatives available that are healthy and still tasty.

Check out some of these easy supplements that will replace electrolytes and help your body absorb all the water you are intaking.

Nuun - tablets enhances with electrolytes to drop into your water to give it some yummy flavor. Easy to carry around in your backpack!

Liquid IV - electrolyte powder that helps hydrate you faster and more efficiently than water alone.

Lyte Show - a liquid concentrate that doesn't have unnecessary additives, sweeteners, or calories!

Hint - a perfectly fizzy and flavorful refreshment with zero sugar or additives. 

Click the blue links to order off amazon! 

Once you start carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go and adding in some hydration supplements, you should feel like you need to pee non-stop! This is normal, it is your body flushing out the toxins.

Go ahead, give it a try and see how your body feels after a week of drinking more of the right fluids and lots of them!