When it comes to sport, one of the most important aspects of performance is preparation. Athletes train, they watch film, they strengthen their mental focus, and they game plan for an opponent. Hydration (and rehydration) is no different. How you perform can be effected by how you hydrate prior to exercise and how you rehydrate during activity.
There is plenty of data out that attempt to discover what is best, a magic elixir if you will. However, the simple answer is that hydration is as individualized as each athlete is different. Needs of the individual, needs of the sport, exertion levels, duration, and the environment all are important things to consider when selecting which type of hydration is optimal for you.
The general rule is that each athlete should consume approx. 16 oz of fluid two hours prior to exercise. During most light to moderate activity, the goal should be 4-6 oz. every 15-20 min. If you have weighed yourself prior to exertion, you should drink 20 oz. of water for every pound lost.
Like most things in athletics, these are general statements and should be used as guidelines, but in no way are they absolutes. The following are some great articles, broken down by their support of water or sports drinks, that should help to educate you on the reason hydration is so important and why they feel their product is the most beneficial for optimal performance.
In our next blog entry, we will look at some available options for post-exercise refueling. As always, we would love to hear what you think. What have you seen, felt, or experimented with in regards to hydration? Take care and check back for part 2.
“Pro” Sports Drinks: