By: NM Lake Forest Health Staff
Optimum hydration is important for everyone, particularly athletes who want to perform their best. To be considered well hydrated, water should account for roughly 60% to 65% of body weight in adults. Athletes can lose fluids rapidly during exercise, sweating, increased core temperatures or even breathing causing electrolyte imbalances and inhibiting performance.
According to the Harvard Health Medical School Special Health Report 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating, water is important for the following:
Carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
Flushing bacteria from your bladder
Normalizing blood pressure
Stabilizing the heartbeat
Protecting organs and tissues
Regulating body temperature
Maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance
Tips for Hydration to Support Performance from the NCAA Sport Science Institute:
1. Monitor your urine color. Clear to pale yellow (lemonade color) is indicative of optimal hydration status.
2. Fruits and vegetables are made mostly of water and are a great way to add fluids to help meet your hydration needs.
3. Weigh in before practice and after to determine your amount of water loss.
4. If you are a salty sweater, eat salty foods before activity and don’t be afraid to use the salt shaker. Replace losses post-workout with watery foods that contain salt, such as broth-based soups or vegetable juice.
5. Other sources of water include smoothies, juice, sports drinks and tea. However, be wary of the extra calories these liquids may contain.
6. Carry a water bottle with you so you can drink water throughout the day.
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