Hydration and Sports Performance - Why it Matters

Posted on behalf of Atlanta Orthopedic Surgeon

Atlanta GA Tennis Elbow TreatmentMemorial Day weekend is over. Summer has started! To ensure safety and optimal performance make sure you stay hydrated when exercising. This is the basic tenet of good nutrition and general health - especially in warm, southern climates i.e. Atlanta, GA.

60% of the human body is water. Optimal hydration is engine that drives us to perform at a high level with any sport or daily exercise.

Intensity and duration, breaks and sweat rates, and any medical conditions with specific recommendations from your doctor will likely affect these numbers, but this is the recommendation from the American Council on Exercise on how to maintain optimal hydration. Weigh yourself before and after you exercise. Although water is the primary method of rehydration, sports drinks can be incorporated before, during, and after exercise in order to maintain fluid balance.

Pre Workout:

  • 2-3 hours before exercise = 17-20 fl oz of water (500-600 mL)
  • 20-30 minutes before exercise = 8 fl oz of fluid

During Workout

  • Every 10-20 minutes = 7-10 fl oz

Post Workout

  • 30 minutes after exercise = 8 fl oz
  • 16-24 fl oz for every pound of body weight lost during exercise

Post Workout rehydration should include water to restore hydration status, carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores, and electrolytes to speed rehydration. The best fluid to drink after exercise to replace fluids that are lost via sweating may not be water. Sports drinks with carbohydrates in the rehydration solution may improve the rate of intestinal absorption of sodium and water, and aid in replenishing the glycogen stores. Replenishing the glycogen stores can enhance performance in subsequent exercise sessions. It is important to keep in mind the recommended daily values for carbohydrates and to not exceed those limits while rehydrating.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Phillip R. Langer, Ortho Sport & Spine Physicians
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