By Megan Ecker, Athletic Trainer, Athletic & Personal Development program
As we enter the sweltering days of summer, it is even more important to stay hydrated. The best way to do so is get educated and be aware.
The following are guidelines for hydration as outlined by the American College of Sports Medicine:
Drink about 17 ounces of fluid 2 to 3 hours before exercise.
Drink about 8-10 ounces of water 10-20 minutes before exercise.
Drink about 8-10 ounces of water every 15 minutes or so during your workout. Sipping water throughout your workout works as well.
If you exercise more than an hour, consider a sports drink, such as Gatorade.
Continue drinking water after your workout to replace any fluids lost.
Stay away from sugary juices and sodas, which can dehydrate the body.
There are many instances where an athlete can become dehydrated due to exertion in the heat and humidity. Signs and symptoms of dehydration to be aware of are: headache, dizziness, light-headed, very dark urine, inability to urinate, and dry mouth.
If an athlete begins to feel any of these, tell your coach and athletic trainer, seek a shaded area and start drinking fluids. It is also very beneficial to drink a sports drink to balance out your electrolytes. If dehydration is not recognized early enough, the body can lose its ability to dissipate heat and can overheat causing heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.
Stay hydrated this summer so you never miss out on the training and fun activities! Never hesitate to ask the athletic trainer if you have any questions.