Schedule Your Hydration to Prevent Warm Weather Performance Issues | STACK

How to Schedule Your Hydration

March 30, 2013 | Joe Giandonato

Must See Nutrition Videos

As the warmer weather of the spring approaches, so does outdoor activity. Rising temperatures are a pleasant break from the long winter; however, be mindful that you have to hydrate, or your body might break down under the sun. (See Formulate a summer hydration plan.)

Proper hydration is critical for maintaining performance during activity. It helps cool your body and ensures that it has the fluids it needs to perform. If you fail to hydrate, you could be at risk for exhaustion, cramping, hyperthermia, heat stroke and muscle damage. (Learn more about proper hydration.)

Dehydration is a slippery slope. When hydration doesn't compensate for fluid loss, you may start experiencing those dreaded symptoms. Losing as little as one percent of your body weight can begin to cause problems.

As a guideline, if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. To prevent potential issues, make sure to start drinking water immediately. It's better to take a proactive approach and hydrate throughout the day than to risk lacking the fluids you need for intense sports performance.

Prior to Competition

  • Keep yourself in a hydrated state by consuming non-caffeinated, non-carbonated and sugar-free beverages throughout the day. The average healthy person excretes 1.5 liters of urine per day, so consume more than 1.5 liters of water.
  • Consume 16 to 20 fluid ounces two to three hours prior to a game or practice.
  • Consume another 16 to 20 fluid ounces 30 minutes prior to a game or practice.
  • Weigh yourself before the game or practice (without clothes).
  • Never arrive at your game or practice thirsty.

During Competition

  • Consume 8 fluid ounces every 15 minutes.
  • Never allow yourself to become thirsty.
  • Consider a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost from sweat.

After Competition

  • Weigh yourself immediately and replenish lost fluids. For every pound of body weight lost, drink 20 ounces.
  • Do not engage in physical activity until you replenish lost fluids.
Joe Giandonato
- Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS, is the head strength and conditioning coach at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pa. He has authored numerous articles on a...
Joe Giandonato
- Joe Giandonato, MS, CSCS, is the head strength and conditioning coach at Germantown Academy in Fort Washington, Pa. He has authored numerous articles on a...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

An Athlete's Guide to Late-Summer Dehydration

Elements of Proper Hydration

I Hate Water: Healthy Alternatives to H2O

Surviving Football Hell Week: A Nutrition Guide

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

Compare 3 of the Most Popular Hydration Backpacks

Selecting Fluids to Enhance Soccer Performance

BPA: Health Hazard In Your Water Bottle?

Winter Dehydration: Are You At Risk?

Avoid Dehydration During Your Next Hockey Game

Benefits of Coconut Water for Athletes

Hydration Guidelines for Volleyball Players

Staying Hydrated for Basketball

Beat the Heat During Training With These Hydration Strategies

Powerade Removes Controversial Ingredient

Coconut Water Vs. Sports Drinks

Will This Edible Blob Replace Your Water Bottle?

Hydrate With...Pickle Juice?

How to Hydrate With Food

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

Cutting Weight for Wrestling: 3-Step Sodium Strategy

Chocolate Milk after Workouts

How to Stay Hydrated When It's Hot and Humid

Beat the Heat: Hydrate with Lemon

This Ebola Treatment Sounds a Lot Like Your Sports Drink

How to Schedule Your Hydration

4 Ways to Carry Backpack Hydration

Drinking for Sport Performance

4 Hydration Rules for Football Players

Why Pedialyte Is a Good Source of Hydration for Hockey Players

12 Must-Know Hydration Rules for Athletes

Hydration: Follow the Rules That Help Your Performance

Healthy Hydration for Track & Field Athletes

7 Rules for Keeping Hydrated

Hydration Inside the Race Car

Weight Loss and Other Benefits of Staying Hydrated

How Much Water Should Athletes Drink Every Day?

Healthy Hydration for Hockey Players

Best Pre-Workout Energy Drink? You May Be Pleasantly Surprised!

6 Effective Drinks for Athletes

Ask the Experts: Am I Drinking Too Much Water?

Not Just for Drinking: Use Water to Avoid Getting Sick

Electrolytes Explained

Opinion: Your Post-Workout Recovery Nutrition Should Be Liquid