FAQ: Dehydration

What are signs of dehydration? 

Thirst, muscle cramps, weakness, decreased attention, decreased performance, nausea, fatigue, headache, lightheadedness and dark color urine.

When should I hydrate?
You should drink regularly so that your body is accustomed to being hydrated.  Before activity you should drink about 20oz or 2 ½ cups of water or sports drink.  During activity you should drink water or sports drink at least 3-4 times per hour or every 10-15 minutes.  After activity you should drink 20oz or 2 ½ cups of water or sports drink per every pound lost.

Why do I need to weigh myself before and after practice?
As little as 2% loss of body fluid can have detrimental effects on the body such as faster heartbeat, impaired decision-making ability and increased body temperature.  Weight loss during activity is water loss, NOT fat loss.

Why do I need to check the color of my urine?
If your urine looks pale like lemonade, it’s a good sign of hydration.  If it’s dark like apple juice, it’s a sign of dehydration.

What types of fluid are acceptable?
Water, sports drinks, juice, milk popsicles are all acceptable sources.  One may work better or worse for one athlete than another.  Find what works for you and stay hydrated.  By the time you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated.

Water or Sports drink?
Again this may be a preference per each individual athlete.  Typically for workouts that last less than 90 minutes, water is the better choice.  For workouts lasting more than 90 minutes, a sports drink may be helpful to replace lost sodium and other nutrients.