As I write this I am in fact dehydrated. I drank loads of water today, however yesterday was a different story—and a typical situation for anyone who works and plays. After spending an entire day at work on a busy Sunday, I didn’t make time to consume adequate amounts of essential fluids. After work, a long ride depleted me of any fluid that I might have had stored. As I rehydrated, I realized how important fluids are. Here is what my research tells me:
Important information about hydration:
Dehydration retards top athletic performance by dissipating heat via the skin, stunting circulation and muscle strength, and in turn endangering your health. To reduce dehydration a proper sport diet reduces needless fatigue. Increase your awareness by monitoring your urine, especially colour. A healthy athlete’s urine should be clear. Trying to urinate frequently is the first safeguard to keeping hydrated. In keeping with the theme of increasing hydration awareness, weigh yourself before and after strenuous activity: one pound lost equals one pound of sweat. Replace accordingly and try not to lose more than two per cent of your body weight.
Coffee and alcohol increase the effects of dehydration. Include sports drink, water and juice to your prior, during and after exercise routine:
Day before drink extra water.
Drink fluids two hours before exercise as the kidneys require 90 minutes to process liquids.
“Tank up” replaces sweat loss.
Drink as much as possible: Eight to 10 ounces every 20 minutes.
Prevent dehydration by giving your body adequate amounts of fluids.
Drink before you’re thirsty.
Monitor your urine. If you’re not peeing, you’re dehydrated. Monitor you weight.