Before Activity: Try to consume about 16 ounces of water up to two hours before and then try to get about 8-12 more ounces in about 10 minutes before your competition or workout. (1 ounce = 1 gulp). Remember – a little is better than none if your stomach is sensitive to large amounts of liquid during activity.
During Activity: In an ideal world athletes should be consuming 8-10 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes of strenuous exercise After Activity: The fluids you lost through sweat must be replaced. Any weight you lose during activity is strictly fluid loss. A good rule to follow is weigh yourself before and after practice and drink 2 to 3 cups of water for every pound lost. You don’t need to do this every time, but do it a few times so you can find an average of how much you need to consume
Water is one of the most important nutrients in your sports diet. It helps eliminate food waste products in your body, regulates body temperature during activity, helps digest, is involved in converting food into energy and helps lubricate joints. Athletes should drink as much water as they comfortably can. The effects of dehydration can be devastating to performance and over-all health. To protect against dehydration in hot weather, drink a little more than you are thirsty for.
The purpose of a recovery drink is to help refuel your body with carbohydrates, protein and hydration. Lately you may have been hearing a lot about chocolate milk as a recovery drink but you may not fully understand why. Chocolate milk naturally contains the most effective balance of carbohydrate and protein, it is convenient and it is affordable. There are also some soy options that lactose intolerant athletes can use; they just need to be conscious that soy contains a little less protein than regular milk.
For events lasting less than one hour, water is just fine. If your practice or event is lasting longer than 60 minutes or if you have multiple events during one day, a sports drink should be used to help keep blood sugar and electrolyte levels balanced. For the best results look for a sports drink that contains 14-18 grams of carbohydrate per serving and 100 milligrams of sodium for every 8 ounces. Generally it is best to have little or no carbonation in the sports drink because carbonation can be hard on the stomach.
Many athletes use energy drinks to help give them a little extra energy before activity, we do not recommend this. Energy drinks contain high amounts of sugar, caffeine and other chemicals that do more harm than good to your body. Drinking energy drinks can lead to sugar crashes and actually dehydrate the athlete. In addition, the ingredients in energy drinks are not regulated by the FDA and it doesn’t take much for an athlete to test positive to drug tests because of this. Instead, turn to food as your fuel.