During exercise, water is the best fluid replenisher for most individuals, although sports drinks help replace lost electrolytes during high-intensity exercise exceeding 45 to 60 minutes. Individuals who sweat profusely during exercise and whose sweat contains a high amount of sodium (noticeable by salt stains/rings on your athletic wear) should choose sports drinks and ensure that their diet contains adequate sodium to prevent water intoxication.
Contrary to popular belief, scientific evidence suggests that moderate caffeine intake does not compromise exercise performance or hydration status. However, alcohol consumption can interfere with muscle recovery from exercise and negatively affect a variety of performance variables.
It is easy to prevent dehydration with a variety of refreshing beverages.
- Drink 17-20 ounces of water two to three hours prior to the start of exercise
- Drink 8 ounces of fluid 20 to 30 minutes prior to exercise or during warm-up
- Drink 7-10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise
- Drink an additional 8 ounces of fluid within 30 minutes after exercising
- Drink 16-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise
- Rehydration occurs faster in the presence of sodium, regardless of whether this is provided in a sports drink