Sansum Nutrition for Athletes: Fluids — A Forgotten Fuel

Nutrition plays a significant role in athletic prowess.

More often than not, protein and carbohydrates are center stage. However, there is one nutrient that has greater value than protein and carbohydrates combined. And, that is water.

Athletes sweat at a higher rate than average people and need to replenish fluids.

Athletes sweat at a higher rate than average people and need to replenish fluids.

Nutritional information specialized for athletes
is provided by registered dieticians
at Sansum Clinic of Santa Barbara.

For your good health

Did you know that the adult body is made up of 50-65% water? Water serves as a carrier, shock absorber, coolant, catalyst, messenger, lubricant and reactant. For the athlete, fluids help delay fatigue and improve recovery after exercise. It also helps maintain body temperature. Consuming appropriate amounts of fluid prevents thirst and weight loss from sweating.

It is important to note risks and signs of dehydration.

You are at greater risk of losing fluid through sweat at higher temperatures, greater intensity and duration of exercise, and large body mass. Well-trained athletes sweat more than the average person because their bodies have a more efficient reaction to the stress of exercise. Signs of dehydration include thirst, premature fatigue, increased body temperature, dizziness, and labored breathing with exercise.

There are tricks to avoid dehydration symptoms and high risk scenarios. Utilize the following hydration guidelines:

Before Exercise: At least four hours prior to exercising, consume 2-3 mL/lb body weight of fluids (30 mL = 1 fluid ounce). For example, if a person weighs 150 lbs, he would require 300-450 mL of fluids or 10-15 fluid ounces.

During Exercise: Drink water regularly. Fluid needs depend on sweat rate. The average recommendation is 5-10 fluid ounces every 20 minutes. Weigh yourself before and after exercise to determine total fluid loss with a goal of less than 2% weight loss.

After Exercise: Drink 16-24 fluid ounces for every pound of body weight loss. High intensity activities lasting longer than 60 minutes require rehydration with 6-8% carbohydrate beverage such as a sport or electrolyte replacement drink.

 

 

 

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