Hydrating Before, During & After Exercise: How to Ramp Up Your Hydration During Summer Workouts by Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., CSSD, CSOWM, FAND
We are well into summer, and whether you’re already an active person or just getting started on a new fitness journey, remembering to hydrate is more important to than ever during the hot summer months. Here are three tips to staying hydrated while also staying active:
- Before exercise: Start your workout already well-hydrated. Drink fluids freely for 24 hours prior, then have 2 to 3 cups of fluid two to three hours before your activity. Then, about 30 minutes before starting out, have at least 5 to 10 ounces of additional water – or up to 20 ounces if exercise will be especially strenuous or if it is unusually hot or humid.
- During exercise: Fluid losses may be as much as 1 to 2 liters per hour. Aim to replace them. You may not be able to replace all your losses, but most athletes can manage about 0.5 to 1 liter per hour, which is best done by drinking every 10 to 20 minutes. Sports drinks that also contain salts (sodium, chloride, potassium and magnesium) as well as some carbohydrates will help maintain blood sugar and keep body salts in balance.
- After exercise: The goal is to replace what you’ve lost from sweating. For every pound of water weight lost, 2 to 3 cups of fluid should be taken in. While plain water quenches thirst, sports drinks that also contain salts and carbohydrates can replenish the body’s carbohydrate stores and facilitate water absorption. Specially designed sports drinks are great for this, particularly when coupled with a balanced post-workout snack or meal.
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