Sports Medicine Tip: The Importance of Staying Hydrated
Staying properly hydrated is essential to good health. However, athletes are especially susceptible to dehydration. With the warmer weather, the importance of staying hydrated increases significantly to prevent heat-related illnesses. As dehydration settles in the body will usually give off various symptoms, such as:
- Decreased energy
- Nausea or burning stomach
- Longer time to recover from workout
If you’re an athlete or the parent of an athlete, here is a sports medicine tip that can help you and your kids stay hydrated and healthy this season.
Keeping Up With Fluid Intake
The most important sports medicine tip for staying hydrated is to make sure that you keep your “tank” full. You need to make sure that you drink enough fluids every day because staying hydrated is a cumulative process that takes days, weeks and sometimes months. To keep your fluids up:
- Make time to drink water. Drink a glass when you first wake up in the morning and one hour before you go to bed.
- Drink with every meal.
- Avoid drinking alcoholic drinks because they can cause dehydration.
- Don’t drink beverages with a lot of sugar, like soda, because they don’t really hydrate you.
- Cut back on caffeinated drinks because they can act as diuretics.
- Find a healthy balance between drinking too little or too much water to avoid becoming bloated.
- Eat fruits and vegetables that have a high water content, including watermelon, pineapple, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce.
How to Determine How Much You Need to Drink
It is possible to calculate how much you need to drink each hour to replace fluids that are lost during your workout or participating in an athletic activity. With this sports medicine tip, you need to first weigh yourself before and after your workout while wearing the same clothes. Then:
- Calculate the difference in weight in ounces.
- If you drank any liquids during your workout, add that amount to the weight difference.
- Divide this sum by the number of hours spent during the workout.
The result is how much sweat your body produced each hour and tells you how much you need to drink each hour to replenish the fluids you lose while you sweat.
Following these sports medicine tips about the importance of staying hydrated will help you or your kids keep hydrated this summer and throughout the rest of the year. 3D Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center hopes you and your family have a healthy active summer! If a sports injury occurs, we’re just a phone call away.
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