Confused about how to hydrate properly? Below are guidelines for drinking before, during and after activity from sports nutritionist Amy Jamieson-Petonic.
The goal: To start your activity in a hydrated state
Fluids: Aim for 13 to 20 ounces of fluid. For events that last less than 60 minutes, water is adequate. If you will be active for at least one hour, down a sports drink, because it stimulates thirst, which means you’ll drink more. Avoid consuming milk or fruit juice before activity. Both have a high concentration of carbohydrates, which don’t empty from the stomach as quickly and can therefore upset your stomach.
The goal: To prevent excessive dehydration
Fluids: A sports drink is a good option, because its carbs, sodium and potassium help maintain blood sugar levels so you can exercise longer before fatiguing. Look for one with a carbohydrate concentration of four to eight percent [14 grams per eight ounces], and consume six to 12 ounces every 15 minutes.
The goal: To fully replenish any fluid and electrolyte deficits
Fluids: Go for fluids that are high in simple sugars, because they fuel your muscles more quickly. Try 100 percent fruit juice or a high protein drink such as low-fat chocolate milk. The amount you need to consume depends on how much body weight you lost during activity. Weigh yourself before and after activity, then consume 20 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost.