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Fluid Guidelines for Summer Workouts

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Published: August 3, 2015
Author: Jennifer Stromberg, MD
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Fluid Guidelines for Summer Workouts

Prior to workout: drink 20 oz. of water or sports drink 1-2 hours before and may add another 10 oz. 15 minutes prior to activity. Athletes who cramp often may need to augment electrolytes by adding an electrolyte packet. Some athletes will also use “pickle juice mixtures, soy sauce, etc. which all have higher concentrations of sodium and other electrolytes. These are generally regarded as safe.

During workout: drink 10 oz. every 15 minutes or so based on thirst. Athletes should be drinking to thirst as even minimal dehydration may affect performance. One caveat would be long endurance runs in which drinking too much fluid may decrease sodium levels to cause mental status changes. Sports drinks should contain less than 8% carbohydrate (18g per 8 oz.) and should also be cooled to under 60 degrees if possible.

What not to drink during workouts: caffeinated beverages including sodas, alcohol, and fruit juices.

Post-Workout hydration: athletes should weigh themselves before and after activity if possible during summer workouts. It is recommended for every pound lost to drink 20 oz. of water or sports drink. This may be done over many hours. Urine color is another good indicator of hydration. Darker urine color is indicative of dehydration. 

Category: Safety/Injury Prevention,

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