As your outdoor activities pick up this summer and the temperatures start to rise it is easy to become dehydrated or to experience other heat-related illnesses. Here are a few simple tips to stay well hydrated:
Weigh yourself pre and post activity. Just a loss of 2% body weight from sweat can decrease performance. For every pound you lose during activity replace each pound of body weight lost with 16-20 oz of water before starting activities the next day.
Check your urine throughout the day. The darker your urine color the more dehydrated you are. Your urine color should be clear to light-lemon colored. Use this urine color chart to check hydration levels throughout the day. Post it and make it visible for your athletes to see.
Adding more fruit and vegetables into your nutrition plan will also keep you well hydrated. Fruits and vegetables are about 80% water.
If you are thirsty it is too late. Thirst is a good indicator that you are already dehydrated.
Too much water can cause you to become dehydrated. You lose sodium through sweat and drinking too much water will dilute the sodium content in your blood. Select an electrolyte sports drink containing about 6-8% carbohydrates for activities lasting more than one hour or activities taking place outside in hot and humid environments.
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