Of all nutritional concerns for athletes the most critical is proper fluid hydration.
One of the key factors of fluid for the athlete is for body temperature control. Lack of this element above all others has the ability to hinder performance and lead to more serious complications.
For a 68kg person, a 2 - 3 percent fluid loss equates to 3 to 4 0.22kg of body weight. A fluid loss of as little as 2 - 3 percent of body weight impairs performance.
Fluid replacement is a special concern for children involved in sports. Children have lower sweating capacity and they tolerate temperature extremes less efficiently than adults. Young children also produce more heat during exercise. It is essential to keep the water bottle handy during all sports activities for children.
To best handle your fluid needs, follow these simple rules as you exercise:
- Drink 2 1/2 cups fluid 1 to 2 hours before competition or training. Follow this by drinking about 1 1/4 cups fluid 15 minutes before the event.
- Drink 3 to 6 oz (1/3 to 3/4 cup) every 10 to 15 minutes during competition or workout.
- After competition or workout, weigh and replace every pound of lost weight with 2 cups fluid.