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5 Keys to Proper Hydration

As summer gears up and athletes participate in tryouts, workouts, camps, and other activities, proper hydration is critical to optimal health and performance. When athletes engage in physical activity while dehydrated, they will likely see a decrease in performance, muscle cramping, increased heart rate, nausea, fatigue, headache, and light-headedness.  Here are some keys to staying hydrated this summer:

  • Hydration requirements vary, particularly by activity level.  The more you are working out, the more water you are going to need.
  • Young athletes should always have water available to them during strenuous activity and be encouraged to take a sip at every break, especially in warmer weather or higher humidity.
  • If you are engaging in strenuous workouts more than once a day, a good way to monitor your hydration is to weigh yourself before and after each bout of activity, and then replace that lost water weight before the next session.  For every pound lost, try to drink 20 oz. within 2 hours.
  • If you are engaging in strenuous activity for longer than 60 minutes, including a sports drink such as BioSteel or Gatorade to help replace lost electrolytes.
  • Remember that hydration does not only start when your activity starts; make sure you are taking in enough water throughout the day.

*How much water/fluids needed per day will vary widely from individual to individual.  It varies based on age, activity level, climate, health, and other factors.

Jenna Janadi is a certified Athletic Trainer at Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Lake Forest, California.