08-09 finding the proper hydration balance
Finding the Proper Hydration Balance!
by Dawn Weatherwax, RD, CSSD, LD, LAT, ATC, CSCS
Understanding the fundamentals of hydration can help athletes at all levels, coaches and the weekend warrior perform at their best.
Consequences of dehydration
Hydration is critical to every function in the body, especially during training and competition. Losing even a small amount of body fluid, as little as two percent of body weight, can impair athletic performance and make it difficult for the body to cope with exercise in warm weather. Dehydration can lead to early fatigue and an increased risk of overheating. During exercise, heart rate and cardiac output increase as the body tries to maintain blood supply to active muscles, the skin (for heat loss), and vital organs. The decrease in blood volume caused by dehydration puts a greater strain on the heart to keep up with the demand, making it difficult for athletes to maintain their performance.
Body Fluid Basics:
- Fluid makes-up approximately 55% to 65% of body weight.
- Two-thirds of fluid is retained within cells and the remaining one-third is outside of the cell, including the blood stream.
- Skeletal muscle is composed of approximately 70% water.
- Adipose tissue consists of only 10% water.
Everyone’s sweat rate is different, so it’s important for athletes to monitor their own hydration status. An easy method is to have athletes check their urine each morning after they awaken. If the color of their urine is pale like lemonade, that’s a sign of proper hydration. If the color of their urine is dark like apple juice, they should consume more fluids during the day. No need to overdo it: usually an extra quart of fluid is sufficient.
The best way for athletes to determine their fluid loss during workouts and competition is to better understand how much sweat they typically lose. This can be easily accomplished by weighing themselves before and after practices and games. Weight loss of more than a pound or two indicates the need to drink more; weight gain indicates the need to drink less. Athletes should work to prevent fluid losses over two percent of their body weight. This can generally be accomplished by fluid breaks every 15 minutes to 30 minutes if the sport of activity allows. Weighing before and after exercise will also help athletes determine how much to drink during recovery — 20oz to 24oz for every pound lost. Complete recovery can take hours depending on the extent of dehydration.
Proper hydration can lead to improved performance. Studies have shown that soccer players and youth basketball players sprinted faster when they were hydrated with a sports drink compared to water during simulated trials. For peak performance, athletes participating in continuing activity should take in 30g to 60g of carbohydrates per hour. Sports drinks are a better choice than plain water as they provide sodium and flavor to encourage drinking, carbohydrates to fuel working muscles, and electrolytes to help replace what is lost in sweat.
Drinking too much fluid can lead to a rare but serious condition called hyponatremia, which occurs when too much fluid is taken in and the blood sodium concentration becomes diluted, causing the brain to swell. The signs of over-drinking are similar to the signs of dehydration so sports health professionals should be diligent about educating athletes about proper fluid intake.
By weighing in and out of practice, athletes will be able to determine if they are over-drinking. If weighing athletes is not possible, sports health professionals should teach athletes to weigh themselves on their own. The more athletes follow this technique, the better they will be at gauging their hydration needs during activity.
Proper hydration protects performance, while dehydration impairs performance. Having palatable fluids available in accessible locations, utilizing techniques such as body weight monitoring, and having a hydration plan for each athlete can help ensure that every athlete is using proper hydration to their advantage.
“He gained a total of 19 pounds of muscle in 3 months time!”
Father of Jimmy Barbiere
St. Xavier High School Swimmer
Sports Nutrition 2Go played an important role in my son, Jimmy Barbiere, winning a state championship in the 100 backstroke and making High School All American in 6 different events this past year as a sophomore at St. Xavier High School.
We took Jimmy to see SN2Go because at 6'3" and 152lbs he was not strong enough to effectively finish his races. When they first analyzed Jimmy, we were surprised to find that although Jimmy weighed only 152lbs, he had 15% body fat. After only 3 months of working with SN2Go, Jimmy gained 13 pounds. Even more surprisingly, his body fat went from 15% to 9%. He gained a total of 19 pounds of muscle in 3 months time!
Love Starts in the Kitchen!™
By: Rita Nader Heikenfeld, CCP, CMH Macy's Regional Culinary Professional, Syndicated Columnist Community Press, and Certified Modern Herbalist. You can blog her at Cincinnati.com or reach her through her website,
Angel Food Strawberry Shortcakes
No real recipe here, but here’s what I do: Cut out desired shapes from slices of Angel Food Cake (I use a round cutter). Use three for each serving. Layer sweetened berries (with Splenda, Stevia or sugar) and fat free whipped topping between the layers. Garnish with another berry, edible flower, mint sprig, etc.
Double Fresh Pea Salad
This yummy double-pea salad is easy to prepare for company. Use any leftover fresh dill in your next mayonnaise-based salad. This is adapted from a recipe sent to me by a reader. It is delicious!
Yields: 5 cups
- 1/2 pound snow peas
- 1 package(s) (10-ounce) frozen peas
- 1/2 cup(s) minced red onion
- 2 tablespoon(s) white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon(s) sugar or Splenda
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In 5-quart to 6-quart saucepot, heat 2 inches water to boiling over high heat. Add snap peas and frozen peas; cook 1 minute. Drain vegetables; rinse under cold running water to stop cooking. Drain again; pat dry between layers of paper towels.
- In large bowl, stir onion, vinegar, oil, dill, sugar, salt, and pepper until mixed. Add peas; toss to coat. If not serving right away, cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.
• Janet Bohne, RD, LD, CDE, taught 5 classes in May to a total of 150 freshmen at Elder High School on Healthy Eating for Teens. This is part of the Healthy Lifestyle initiative at the school.
• Dawn Weatherwax authored a chapter for the Unique Concerns for the Female Athlete. JUST CAME OUT!!!!! Click the link to order!
• Dawn Weatherwax spoke at NATA National Conference June ’09 on The Female Athletic Triad-Body Fat vs Energy Balance. Effective Prevention and Treatment.
• Dawn Weatherwax spoke at NSCA National Conference on Body Composition and its Affects on the Spectrum of Sports July ’09.
• Dawn Weatherwax inconjuction with Mark Kovac wrote a Tennis article that will be published in TennisPro magazine this summer!!!! Tournament Eating: What to Eat Throughout the Day of Competition.
• Dawn Weatherwax spoke at the USPTA conference at St Pete’s Beach, Florida June ’09, on Tournament Eating: What to Eat Throughout the Day of Competition. Sponsored by Gatorade
• Dawn was a guest expert on the Montel William’s National Radio show featuring the epidemic of childhood obesity. Click below and Listen!
Want to take your game to the next level? Losing Focus during your rounds? Missing strokes towards the end? Fatigued when you finish? Then this is for you!
The Power of Nutrition for All Golf Levels
• Great AUDIO presentation for all ages!!
• Learn how to improve your golf game through sports nutrition
• Learn proper hydration and nutrition techniques before, during and after you play
• Learn how body composition and metabolism plays apart in improving your score
• Learn about different sports nutrition programs we offer to groups and individuals
OPTIMIZE YOUR EFFORTS WITH A PERSONALIZED SPORTS NUTRITION PROGRAM!
10% off any first time service you choose at SN2Go the month of July ’09
Distance does not matter! We can work with you whether you are local or remote!!!!!
Interested in staying up-to-date on Sports Nutrition? SN2G.com publishes frequent eNewsletters that provide useful information for everyone from pro athletes to soccer moms.