Maximize Your Hydration - Tips for Staying Hydrated

Posted on August 21, 2019 at 3:45 PM by McFarland Sports Medicine

Hydrating during physical activity is important no matter your fitness level. McFarland Sports Medicine physician Sarah Bancroft, DO talks about the importance of hydrating during exercise, risks of dehydration, and tips to rehydrate.

Importance of Pre-Hydrating

Hydrating is as important before conducting physical activity as it is during. Dr. Bancroft says you should drink 16 ounces of fluid two to three hours before exercise. Then 15 to 30 minutes before exercise, athletes should drink another eight ounces of water.

Benefits of Hydrating During Exercise

The benefits of hydrating during exercise are mental toughness, physical fitness and injury prevention.

Dr. Bancroft says hydrating during exercise also allows our heart and other organs to work without becoming stressed.

 “All of the musculoskeletal system needs hydration to make sure it is working properly,” Dr. Bancroft says.

Symptoms & Risk of Dehydration

Insufficient hydration can cause side effects ranging from basic dehydration to kidney injury.

Dr. Bancroft says signs of dehydration include nausea, feeling dizzy, confusion, and rapid heart rate.

Dehydration can lead to serious ailments like heat exhaustion and heat illness. Symptoms of these ailments include increased body temperature, confusion, vomiting, and fainting.

How To Stay Hydrated During Exercise

Performance Hydration

See the NCAA's recommendations for maximizing Performance Hydration.

Fact Sheet

  • Take a break from physical activity every 15-20 minutes and drink two to three big gulps of water.
  • Make sure to rehydrate after physical activity.
  • For quick rehydration athletes can drink smoothies, electrolyte drinks and slushies.

Reach Out to McFarland Clinic Sports Medicine

How do you stay hydrated? Reach out to us in the comments below or look for McFarland Sports Medicine on social media!

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