How to Hydrate Your Body

January 23, 2013 | Brian Lebo

Must See Nutrition Videos


Water plays an essential role in athletic performance by maintaining your body temperature (thermoregulation). If you are dehydrated, you risk impairing your performance, and, in extreme cases, causing serious health complications.

Hydration must be part of your daily plan, and you should specifically focus on fluid intake before, during and after training or competition.

Water makes up 45 to 70 percent of your body weight, so water is the perfect option for hydration. In fact, research shows that water affects athletic performance more than any other nutrient. However, it's also important to replenish sodium, potassium and other electrolytes lost through sweat—especially if your workout exceeds 45 to 60 minutes and the intensity is high. This is particularly important if you are a heavy sweater—to prevent cramps and maintain your performance.

When you train outside, you have to pay even more attention to hydration to avoid potential heat-related illness. It's best to drink a cool beverage (at least 50 to 70° F) to help reduce your body temperature. Also, cool beverages are absorbed more quickly than warm drinks. Learn more about fueling your body through STACK's Hydration Guide.

Basic Hydration Guidelines for Athletes

  1. Start your day with a glass of cold water
  2. Don't wait until you're thirsty; drink 16 ounces of cold water at least two hours before a workout, practice or game, especially if exercise will be prolonged in a hot environment
  3. Make sure fluids are readily available; carry a water bottle with you whenever you're away from home
  4. Drink before, during and after exercise
  5. During exercise, drink six to eight ounces of water or sip an electrolyte replacement beverage every 15 minutes
  6. Drink about one pint of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise
  7. Avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks; caffeine can cause you to become dehydrated, and sugar can slow your body's ability to absorb fluids
  8. Get your water by consuming fruits and vegetables
Brian Lebo
- Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping...
Brian Lebo
- Brian Lebo is the owner and director of Athletic Performance Training Center, a strength and conditioning facility in North Royalton, Ohio. He specializes in helping...
Must See
Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings
Views: 7,450,267
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 5,810,780
RGIII Talks About His Legacy RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 29,693,134

Featured Videos

Abby Wambach's Med Ball Core Workout Abby Wambach's Med Ball Core Workout Views: 200,441
Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Views: 1,013,872
Joe Mauer's On-Field Baseball Skill Development Joe Mauer's On-Field Baseball Skill Development Views: 643,932
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,498,829
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 11,196,073
Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling Tobin Heath Closed-Space Dribbling
Views: 1,174,429
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 890,276
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,332,736

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Will This Edible Blob Replace Your Water Bottle?

Will This Edible Blob Replace Your Water Bottle?

I Hate Water: Healthy Alternatives to H2O

I Hate Water: Healthy Alternatives to H2O

Weight Loss and Other Benefits of Staying Hydrated

Weight Loss and Other Benefits of Staying Hydrated

12 Must-Know Hydration Rules for Athletes

12 Must-Know Hydration Rules for Athletes

How to Stay Hydrated When It's Hot and Humid

How to Stay Hydrated When It's Hot and Humid

Hydration: Follow the Rules That Help Your Performance

Hydration: Follow the Rules That Help Your Performance

INFOGRAPHIC: 5 Hacks to Perform Better in the Heat

INFOGRAPHIC: 5 Hacks to Perform Better in the Heat

Healthy Hydration for Track & Field Athletes

Healthy Hydration for Track & Field Athletes

Drinking for Sport Performance

Drinking for Sport Performance

Healthy Hydration for Hockey Players

Healthy Hydration for Hockey Players

New Gatorade Montage Counts 50 Years of Fueling Athletes

New Gatorade Montage Counts 50 Years of Fueling Athletes

Beat the Heat During Training With These Hydration Strategies

Beat the Heat During Training With These Hydration Strategies

Hydration Inside the Race Car

Hydration Inside the Race Car

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Danger of Over-Hydration

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Danger of Over-Hydration

Beat the Heat: Hydrate with Lemon

Beat the Heat: Hydrate with Lemon

4 Hydration Rules for Football Players

4 Hydration Rules for Football Players

Not Just for Drinking: Use Water to Avoid Getting Sick

Not Just for Drinking: Use Water to Avoid Getting Sick

Powerade Removes Controversial Ingredient

Powerade Removes Controversial Ingredient

Chocolate Milk after Workouts

Chocolate Milk after Workouts

Staying Hydrated for Basketball

Staying Hydrated for Basketball

This Ebola Treatment Sounds a Lot Like Your Sports Drink

This Ebola Treatment Sounds a Lot Like Your Sports Drink

How to Schedule Your Hydration

How to Schedule Your Hydration

Why Pedialyte Is a Good Source of Hydration for Hockey Players

Why Pedialyte Is a Good Source of Hydration for Hockey Players

Living the #JugLife: Javale McGee Wants You to Drink More Water

Living the #JugLife: Javale McGee Wants You to Drink More Water

Hydration Guidelines for Volleyball Players

Hydration Guidelines for Volleyball Players

BPA: Health Hazard In Your Water Bottle?

BPA: Health Hazard In Your Water Bottle?

4 Ways to Carry Backpack Hydration

4 Ways to Carry Backpack Hydration

Winter Dehydration: Are You At Risk?

Winter Dehydration: Are You At Risk?

Ask the Experts: Am I Drinking Too Much Water?

Ask the Experts: Am I Drinking Too Much Water?

Electrolytes Explained

Electrolytes Explained

Water or Sports Drinks: What to Drink When?

Water or Sports Drinks: What to Drink When?

Surviving Football Hell Week: A Nutrition Guide

Surviving Football Hell Week: A Nutrition Guide

An Athlete's Guide to Late-Summer Dehydration

An Athlete's Guide to Late-Summer Dehydration

6 Effective Drinks for Athletes

6 Effective Drinks for Athletes

Avoid Dehydration During Your Next Hockey Game

Avoid Dehydration During Your Next Hockey Game

Benefits of Coconut Water for Athletes

Benefits of Coconut Water for Athletes

INFOGRAPHIC: 5 Hydration Rules You Need to Know

INFOGRAPHIC: 5 Hydration Rules You Need to Know

How Much Water Should Athletes Drink Every Day?

How Much Water Should Athletes Drink Every Day?

7 Rules for Keeping Hydrated

7 Rules for Keeping Hydrated

How to Hydrate With Food

How to Hydrate With Food

Opinion: Your Post-Workout Recovery Nutrition Should Be Liquid

Opinion: Your Post-Workout Recovery Nutrition Should Be Liquid

Compare 3 of the Most Popular Hydration Backpacks

Compare 3 of the Most Popular Hydration Backpacks

Cutting Weight for Wrestling: 3-Step Sodium Strategy

Cutting Weight for Wrestling: 3-Step Sodium Strategy

Hydrate With...Pickle Juice?

Hydrate With...Pickle Juice?

YardBarker