Powerade Hydration Tips: When to Hydrate
In the second part of our bitesize pieces on hydration advice, we give the rundown on when and how you should hydrate.
1. Before Exercise
If you’re well hydrated when you start exercising, you’re less likely to become dehydrated and you’ll perform better. Consume drinks with sodium and/or small amounts of salted snacks (or sodium-containing foods) to stimulate thirst and retain the consumed fluids.
• At least 4 hours before exercise: slow consumption of 5-7ml of fluid per kilogram of bodyweight.
• About 2 hours before exercise: if the individual does not produce urine, or the urine is dark, then more fluid should be consumed (eg 3-5 ml/kg of bodyweight).
• Drinking sports drinks such as Powerade ION4 helps to offset dehydration and enhance physical and mental performance.
2. During exercise
How much fluid you need to drink depends on a large number of factors including individual sweat rate, duration and intensity of exercise, environmental conditions and the practical opportunities you have to drink.
• Make sure you continue to drink little and often throughout your exercise session (aim for 150ml every 10-15 mins).
• Consumption of beverages containing minerals and carbohydrates can help sustain fluid mineral balance and exercise performance.
3. After exercise
After exercise, you need to replace the fluid and minerals lost through sweat. How well you do this comes down to the volume and type of drink you’re drinking. Water isn’t the ideal post-exercise hydration drink because it doesn’t contain an adequate amount of minerals, it stimulates high urine flow and stops you feeling thirsty before you’re properly hydrated.
• Aim to drink 15.litres of fluid for each kilogram of bodyweight lost as sweat. Drink the fluid over time rather than gulping down a drink in one go.
• Following exercise, individuals should replace any fluid and mineral losses that have occurred during exercise
[Main picture via markhillary/Flickr Creative Commons]