There’s absolutely no benefit to being dehydrated. For active individuals being hydrated is one of the most important nutrition factors to consider. It’s even more vital for youth athletes during multiple practice days in the heat of Summer.
Ever struggled during a workout without a clue why? Research has shown that a loss of body weight of just one-percent (1.5 pounds in a 150-pound person) can adversely affect a person’s ability to cope with stress. A loss of two-percent of body weight can impair your fitness performance; making it difficult to even run a mile.
It is difficult to maintain proper hydration during exercise. The typical guidelines of eight glasses of water doesn’t factor in activity level or the hot Arizona climate. Set yourself up for success with trainer, TJ’s, recommended daily hydration formula.
TJ’s Hydration Formula
To determine your normal hydration needs as an individual, calculate your body weight in pounds, divide it by 2 and drink that many ounces of water each day.
For example, TJ weighs in at 200-pounds, meaning he should drink 100-ounces of quality water each day. That’s around 12.5 8-ounce bottles of water!
Timing Your Hydration for Peak Results
As an active, exercising individual you require more water then someone who is sedentary. So while the formula above is good for semi-active days, in the AZ heat you need a lot more fluid to stay in shape.
Stay on top of your hydration to rock your workouts. Following a hydration schedule will ensure you are properly hydrated before activity begins. Get started with this basic fluid plan, suitable for most active individuals. Then tailor it to your activity level, drinking as much as you need.
Fluid Planning For Workout Days
In the morning: Start your day by drinking eight ounces of water first thing. Space out your intake throughout the day, aiming for one glass every hour.
Two hours before exercise: Drink at least two cups (16 oz.) of fluid. Drinking two to three hours before exercise allows enough time for fluid to be lost through urine before exercise begins.
30 minutes before exercise: Drink five to 10 ounces of fluid. There is no benefit to chugging fluid in an attempt to stay hydrated. Although everybody is different, the body can only absorb fluid so fast, and you do not want to have extra fluid sloshing around in your stomach when it is time to start your activity.
Right before exercise: Check your weight.
Every 15 minutes during activity: Try to drink a half to a full cup of fluid. The goal is to consistently replace fluid lost during activity. Drink four to eight ounces every fifteen minutes, or sixteen to thirty-two ounces over an hour, without overloading the body and causing GI distress. Remember: One gulp is about one ounce, so aim for four to eight gulps of fluid every 15 minutes.
After activity: Re-weigh yourself and compare it to your pre-workout weight to find out how much water you lost during exercise. Drink 20 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost.
Drink Selection Guidelines
- Choose your beverage based on your workout.
- In general, water is a good choice for activities of light to moderate intensity that are completed in less than 45 minutes.
- For activity over 45 minutes or moderate-to-heavy exercise in warm, humid weather, your needs are better met with a sports drink. Sports drinks replace the electrolytes lost in sweat; water does not.
- Choose a sport drink that provides six to eight percent carbohydrate (14-19 grams per 8 ounces) for added energy (and possibly improved absorption).