Even at a moderate pace in mild temperatures, you can lose 3 to 4 liters of water during 2 to 3 hours of exercise. That’s equal to between 3/4 and one gallon of water!
YOU NEED TO HYDRATE CONTINUALLY:
The key to assimilating water and staying properly hydrated is to drink water continually, a little bit at a time, the cooler the better. Your body can absorb only about a liter of water per hour, which is often less than you’re losing. So a 2-liter hydration system (the equivalent of 3 large water bottles) is an ideal capacity for a vigorous 2- to 3-hour activity.
HOW TO STAY HYDRAYED:
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) – the leading authority on sports medicine and physiology in the United States – has released “Exercise and Fluid Replacement”, a position stand that provides scientifically-based guidelines for effective hydration. They recommend the following actions to minimize the debilitating effects of hydration on health and performance:
|1. Drink Early||Drink about 17 ounces of liquid about 2 hours before exercise.|
|2. Drink Often||The body absorbs liquids better when it is continually sipped rather than gulped infrequently. Drink 5-8 oz every 15-20 minutes.|
|3. Add Sports Mixes||For exercise over 1 hour, add mixes with carbohydrates and electrolytes.|
|4. Keep Fluids Cool||Liquids in the 59-72 degree range are more easily absorbed.|
|5. Keep Fluids Accessible||Fluids should be readily available and served in containers that allow adequate amounts to be ingested with ease and minimal interruption of exercise.|
|6. Drink After Exercise||Make sure you drink after finishing exercise, since it is nearly impossible during exercise to ingest as much fluid as you are losing.|