Hydration Tips for Athletes

What do Serena Williams, Patrick Mahomes, and Lionel Messi have in common? They believe in the performance-boosting power of hydration. What about you? Hydration affects athletic performance—even for us amateurs and Average Joes.

 

Dehydration, Simplified

Your heart, brain, and muscles all depend on water.

When you exercise, you sweat. When you sweat, you lose water and electrolytes which can lead to dehydration and fluid imbalances. Therefore, the more active you are, the more hydration you need to combat fluid losses. Let’s take a look at the science-backed ways dehydration can hinder your athletic performance: 

 

Symptoms & Signs of Dehydration


There’s no debating dehydration has a negative impact on athletic performance, exercise, and recovery. However, there is no consensus on the extent of its impact. Beyond this list, there are even more commonly reported symptoms of dehydration that could be holding you back from peak performance. 


The Effects of Electrolytes

As mentioned, when you work up a sweat, you release water and electrolytes. Electrolytes are essential minerals, like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, that have a direct link to athletic performance. Excessive electrolyte loss and electrolyte imbalance can amplify common symptoms of dehydration such as muscle cramps, dizziness, and impaired cognitive function. Severe electrolyte loss and electrolyte imbalances can also introduce additional symptoms, including:

The bottom line is if you don’t hydrate ahead of time and properly rehydrate by replacing the electrolytes and water you lose via sweat, you can’t achieve or maintain peak performance and recovery.


The Benefits of Proper Hydration

It doesn't matter if you’re toning up at Zumba, cycling to sweat, jogging around the neighborhood, or hitting the weights, proper hydration gives you a boost. Here are a few of the scientifically proven advantages of staying hydrated: 

 

Hydration Tips For Exercise, Activity, & Athletes 

Now that you know the benefits of proper hydration, remember this:

Hydration starts before activities do, and ends long after.

Therefore, you should hydrate before, during, and after exercise / activity to promote optimal performance. 


  • Drink enough water early and often. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
  • Intentionally replace electrolytes. Your body itself does not produce electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and sodium.
  • Eat water-rich foods like watermelon, carrots, and pineapple.
  • Consider fruit juice and sport drinks like Gatorade to replenish glycogen and carbohydrates as well as electrolytes when fueling up. 
  • Keep a water bottle handy. It serves as a visual reminder to stay hydrated. Upgrade to a filtered water bottle here.
  • Check your weight loss after exercise. During training, exercise, and athletics, each pound of body weight lost equals approximately 16 fluid ounces of sweat lost. 
  • Keep an eye on your urine color to check hydration status. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you may be.
  • Beware of diuretics. Coffee, caffeine, and certain medications can have a diuretic effect on you, causing you to urinate more frequently. Depending on the situation, this can play a role in dehydration. 
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    3 Key Considerations For Your Daily Hydration Plan

    There is no one-size-fits-all hydration plan. However, there are three factors that affect the amount of water and fluids you need to achieve optimal hydration and optimize your athletic performance.


  • Your sweat rate. We all sweat different amounts. The higher your sweat rate, the more ounces of fluids and water you need to maintain proper hydration levels. 

  • Environment. Heat increases your body temperature and your risk of dehydration. Be aware of your surroundings and increase your ounces of water and fluids as needed. 

  • Duration and intensity of exercise. The longer and harder you exercise, the more fluids you lose; therefore, the more fluids you need to rehydrate properly and maintain fluid balance. 
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    Calculating Your Recommended Water & Fluid Intake 

    Your body needs water to operate, and you lose water by breathing, urinating, and of course, sweating. That’s why most physicians recommend the average person drink at least eight cups of water a day. 

    Don’t forget: You lose other fluids, too. That’s why the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) suggests women get 11.5 cups of fluids a day and men get 15.5 cups of fluids a day via food, water, and other beverages.

    On days when you’re active or exercising, you obviously need more water and fluids to avoid dehydration and fluid imbalances. Data from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine suggests you consume three cups of water for every pound of body weight lost during exercise / physical activity to “promote adequate rehydration.” The same experts suggest ingesting sodium, specifically, during the rehydration process. 

    The bottom line is the more fluids you lose, the more you need to replace.

    Water is always a necessity to maintain enough fluids in the body and cover your hydration needs. And for those losing fluids through physical activity and exercise, rehydrating with the proper electrolytes is also important. 

     

    Clearly Filtered Targets Contaminants—Not Minerals—In Tap Water

    You’ve read this far because you care about your health. Therefore, you know the importance of clean drinking water. And you probably know that typical carbon filters sold by leading brands remove as few as five contaminants out of the hundreds that could be lurking in your tap water. 

    What you may not know is that tap water can contain beneficial minerals and nutrients like sodium, potassium, and calcium. In other words, the key electrolytes you lose via sweat can actually be found in certain sources of tap water. The problem is other filtration solutions, like Reverse Osmosis systems, actually remove these beneficial minerals and nutrients.

    Not Clearly Filtered. Our advanced water filtration technology targets and removes hundreds of contaminants typical carbon filters can’t and recognizes beneficial minerals and nutrients, intentionally allowing them to pass through. In other words, our intelligent water filters intentionally do not target beneficial minerals and nutrients, including the electrolytes you lose via sweat. 

    If you want to protect yourself from dangerous contaminants without sacrificing key minerals and nutrients that can be found in tap water, consider upgrading to Clearly Filtered. Our advanced water filtration systems are a wise investment in your health, wellness, and performance.
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