Water, roughly between 60-70% of what comprises you and I, plays a vital
role in the functioning of everyday life. From better overall health to
improved body temperature regulation, increased body lubrication and even
improved weight maintenance, you will reap greater benefits if you stay well
hydrated with water or water-rich fluids.
Hydration is vital to a successful athletic performance. When there is a
lack of hydration, from the food you eat to beverages you drink, you will end
up dehydrated. This commonly leads to fatigue; muscle cramping and even can
reduce your coordination. It also compromises the body’s ability to cool itself
through sweating which can also lead to dizziness, fatigue or even heatstroke.
When the difference between top finishers in an endurance event is only a
few seconds or less, athletes can’t afford to loose time to dehydration.
Athletes should pay close attention to fueling their bodies with fluids and
foods consistently by finding their individual sweat rates.” This consists of weighing yourself before and after an athletic event to see
how much body weight was lost due to hydration loss.
When you know how much fluid was lost by an athletic event, and then take
the next step to learn how to ingest this amount during training, fluid
consumption becomes much more automatic and the chance for dehydration during a
time of importance (such as a competition) diminishes significantly.
Research suggests that 20-24oz of fluid needs to be consumed for each pound
of body weight lost. For athletes who opt for endurance events, make sure to
consume a sports drink that has both carbohydrates and an adequate amount of
electrolytes by searching for drinks that have 200mg of sodium per 8oz of
For more information on hydration and athletic performance you can check out
the position statement by the NATA.