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Benefits of Proper Hydration

During athletic activity, a sports drink and/or water would be the preferable beverage, and if the event lasts more than an hour, the sports drink would be the drink of choice. However, fluid consumption during meals can include drinks like milk and juice, as well as sports drinks and water. 

Douglas J. Casa, PhD, ATC, CSCS, chair of the NATA Position Statement on Fluid Replacement for Athletes points out some basic signs and symptoms of dehydration. 

"The first indicators of dehydration are thirst, irritability, and general discomfort," said Casa. "And, if the dehydration progresses the signs and symptoms may include headache, cramps, chills, vomiting, nausea, head or neck heat sensations, and decreased performance.”

Water is one of the most essential components of the human body, yet many people do not understand the importance of a well-hydrated body nor how much water is lost during the day. Water regulates the body's temperature, cushions and protects vital organs, and aids the digestive system. And, because water 
composes more than half of the human body, it is impossible to sustain life for more than a week without it. 


Here are some tips to keep you well hydrated: 
• Drink fluids frequently 
• Drink one to two cups of fluid at least one hour before the start of exercise. 
• Drink eight ounces of fluid 20 to 30 minutes prior to exercising. 
• Drink four to eight ounces of fluid every 10 to 15 minutes or so during exercise. 
• Drink an additional eight ounces of fluid within 30 minutes after exercising. 
• Drink two cups of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise. 
• Drink at least eight cups of fluid a day, or more if physically active 
• Make fluids easily accessible 
• Carry individualized fluid containers 
• Begin all summer activity well hydrated 
• During activity, drink the equivalent of how much you sweat 
• Don’t just drink when you’re thirsty 
• Avoid caffeine 

Caffeine can have a diuretic effect, so be sure to compensate for this additional water loss.