Drinking sufficient water increases energy, improves the appearance of skin and fascia, keeps muscles and joints lubricated, helps prevent brittle hair and nails, improves overall health, and helps prevent overeating. Hydration substantially impacts your mental ability and overall physical performance.
Although hydration is an established need, many athletes still fall short on meeting the body’s requirements. We believe athletes have better hydration when they establish a hydration ritual. Learn and adopt these five habits to help to establish your hydration ritual.
Foundational Hydration Needs
This liquid should be made up of water and other naturally low-calorie beverages, such as green tea. Jump-start your hydration by beginning your day with 16 ounces of water as soon as you wake up.
The other rule of thumb is to drink ½ to 1 ounce of fluid per pound of body weight per day. So, someone weighing 190 pounds should be drinking a minimum of 95 ounces of liquid per day.
The National Academy of Medicine recommends that men consume 3.7 liters and women consume 2.7 liters of fluid every single day. The fluid should be low-calorie – sports drinks are designed for intense sport, not for supporting foundational hydration.
Stay Hydrated During Activity
Losing just 2% of your body weight due to fluid loss can significantly decrease performance. Cramping has been linked to electrolyte loss, specifically sodium loss.
Choose a hydration supplement like Catalyte® that has at least 200 milligrams of sodium per eight ounces to maximize electrolyte replacement.
Although hydration needs vary from person to person, here are some general guidelines:
Pre-training (1-2 hours before), drink 17-20 ounces
Immediately before training, drink 7-10 ounces
During training (every 10-15 minutes), drink 7-10 ounces
Post-training, drink 20 ounces for every pound lost
Keep It Cold
According to a 2012 article published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, drinking cold water during your workout can keep your body temperature cooler for longer, decreasing heat-related stress and fatigue.
The researchers found that when male athletes drank cold water (40ºF), the rise in body temperature was delayed by at least 30 minutes compared to 15 minutes when they drank room temperature water (72ºF).
Water Bottle = Best Friend
Take a water bottle wherever you go, including the car, to the office, and during air travel. This will remind you to meet your daily hydration needs. Empty your water bottle – preferably by drinking – before going through an airport security checkpoint and refill on the other side. Keep a small cooler in the car, especially during the summer months, so cold water is always available.
Choose a Popsicle
Kids aren't the only ones who enjoy popsicles. During warm weather, we find that athletes enjoy switching up delivery methods with Catalyte popsicles.
Mix a normal serving of Catalyte (one scoop of powder with nine ounces of water). Pour into molds, freeze, and enjoy. Depending on the size of the molds, which typically are 3 ounces each, you might need to have multiple popsicles!
What makes Catalyte Different?
Research shows sports drinks containing less than 2% carbohydrate allow for faster absorption and rehydration than traditional sports drinks that are generally between 6-8% carbohydrate.*
Traditional sports drinks are too low in electrolytes to cover typical sweat rates – even though rates vary from person to person.
Catalyte is formulated based on the typical ratios of sodium found in sweat, and also includes a blend of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and zinc – which are also lost in sweat, but rarely included in sports drinks.
With only five grams of carbohydrate, three of them being sugar, per serving, Catalyte provides an optimal electrolyte composition with fewer total calories – and no artificial sweeteners.
This lower carbohydrate level also means potentially fewer GI issues (stomach bloating, diarrhea, gas) that some people experience due to the osmotic effects of higher carbohydrate loads.*
Catalyte’s lower calorie-to-carbohydrate formula allows each individual to customize a sports drink to a “one size fits one” formula that meets personal needs.
For individuals requiring additional carbohydrates, these can be added to Catalyte, or consumed separately as solid food or a gel, which allows for more flexibility and versatility in fueling and hydration strategies.
Joel Totoro, RD
Joel Totoro is a Registered Dietitian with over a decade experience in trauma and sports nutrition. Prior to joining Thorne, he served 3 years as sport dietitian for the University of Michigan and 8 years at the New England Patriots, where he was the first full time sports dietitian in pro-sports. Totoro is also an elected board member for the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association.
Tag(s): Player Nutrition