Whether you are training over a long period or playing hard in competition, hydration can keep you not only at peak performance, but it also helps you avoid serious health risks.
Dehydration in athletes can lead to fatigue, headaches, decreased coordination, and muscle cramping. Other heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, have even more severe consequences. It’s important for athletes to pay attention to how much water they’re drinking before, during, and after exercise.
“For a long run or workout, make sure you’re well hydrated during the days leading up to the workout,” says board-certified sports medicine specialist Dr. James (Jim) Chesnutt. “Making sure you’re well hydrated before a long workout will help decrease your chances of dehydration following the workout.”
Try to drink at least 16 ounces of water an hour before beginning a workout. As a general rule of thumb, Dr. Chesnutt suggests consuming four to six ounces of water every 20 minutes during a workout. In a longer or more intense workout, some of your fluid intake could include a sports drink, which can help replace minerals lost during the workout.
For more information on avoiding dehydration, heat-related illnesses, and other sports medicine issues, contact Dr. Jim Chesnutt at Rebound Orthopedics & Neurosurgery at (503) 635-2323.