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The Best Hydration Tips for a Better Athletic Performance

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

We have all heard, at some point, things like “drink lots of water,” or “make sure you stay hydrated,” especially as summertime approaches and the weather gets warmer. Competitive sports players and everyday gym-goers that encounter a high heat index and hot conditions end up becoming targets for dehydration and heat illness.

Eating the right types of foods is extremely important for your athletic performance, but drinking enough fluids is also essential for optimal training performance and everyday normal functions well-being. Staying hydrated enables your body to provide adequate circulation to both your muscles and body surface.

As I have mentioned in past blogs, a mere 1 percent dehydration level will hinder your athletic performance and health. Signs of dehydration are fatigue, headache, light-headedness, dry mouth and dark-colored urine. A study published in 2015 Asker Jeukendrup & Michael Gleeson at Humankinetics, suggests that “A loss of sweat equal to 2% of body weight causes a noticeable decrease of physical and mental performance. Losses of 5% or more of body weight during physical activities may decrease the capacity for work by roughly 30%”.

Therefore we can conclude that the lack of proper hydration will cause major damage to your athletic performance as shown. Making sure you are always replenishing fluid and electrolytes if you are engaged in a physical activity is a must if you are looking to perform at optimum levels.

If you are looking for a summer filled with outdoor activities and lots of exercising, here are some tips for you to maintain body fluid balance, improving performance in the heat, and preventing heat-related illness appear to be prudent based on current scientific knowledge:

  1. For intense training and long workouts, a fluid replacement drink containing carbohydrates may provide an important source of energy. A 6-8 percent carbohydrate beverage is typically most effective in maintaining fluid balance while supplying the muscles with fuel.

  2. The fluid consumed during activity should contain an appropriate amount of sodium and electrolytes. The sodium may be beneficial for quicker absorption and replacement of sweat loss.

  3. I advise you to also drink 7-12 ounces of cold fluid about 15-30 minutes before workouts. If the workout is prolonged, add carbohydrates to the beverage at a 6-8 percent concentration. Drink 4-8 ounces of cold fluid during exercise at 15-20 minute intervals.

  4. Start drinking early in the workout because thirst does not develop until 2 percent of body weight has been lost, by which time performance may have begun to decline.

Sports drinks are designed to rehydrate, provide energy and replenish the body’s electrolytes, especially sodium, which is lost through sweating. Sports drinks also contain carbohydrates – the body’s main source of energy. During prolonged, intense exercise, it is important to replace the fluid and minerals lost in sweat. The appropriate amount for rehydration will depend on factors such as the level and duration of exertion.

Athletes that will benefit most from a sports drink are those intensely exercising for longer than 60 minutes and salty sweaters. Sports drinks are designed to help replenish sodium lost from sweat. If exercising longer than 60 minutes, consuming a few gulps of a sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes can help to maintain energy and electrolyte levels, and sustain performance. With the growth and development of studies for athletic performance, professional athletes are finding more longevity in their careers as well as better performance on an everyday basis as they are better preparing for their workouts and games. They are also finding better ways of recovering after their activities based on major studies.

Dallas Cowboys’ Wide Receiver Cedrick Wilson is a huge advocate for proper hydration before, during and after his workouts. “The countless reps, the late night workout sessions, the endless sprints, I can’t do any of that if I don’t keep myself properly hydrated,” says Cedrick.

Hopefully I was able to show you enough to persuade you on making sure you stay hydrated and drink more water/sports drinks to make sure your liquid and electrolyte are always at optimum levels. Either for physical activities performance or a healthy performance of everyday functions, make sure you are looking for products and adapting to a lifestyle where your body is always hydrated. This article will show you a little more about how to make sure your diet can help you to stay hydrated too. If you are making switches on your diet or schedule/lifestyle, look for products that will help you achieve your hydration goals too. Like I mentioned in this article, luckily there are already healthier options of foods and drinks on the market that can help people get their essential vitamins and minerals and keep your hydration levels at its peak without the extra calories.

Hydra-Guard Sports Drink is a great way of replenishing your essential electrolytes after a workout but keeping the calorie count low and consuming only 5g of natural sugars per bottle. If you want to check out the online store, you can use the code TA10 for a discount on your checkout. Professional Athletes know best. Minnesota Vikings’ Running Back Alexander Mattison emphasizes the importance of sports drinks in his preparation to play in the NFL level. “I believe that staying Properly Hydrated with products such as Hydra-Guard is very important because as an athlete, it becomes part of a healthy lifestyle choice and it helps me to prevent any injuries,” says Alex.

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