Exercise Fluid Needs - Hydration and MineralsFluid needs
To meet fluid needs, stay hydrated with water or other noncaffeinated drinks. Tea, coffee and cola drinks contain caffeine, which can increase urine production and fluid loss. Alcohol is also dehydrating. Drink adequate fluids before exercise: 20 ounces of fluids about 2 hours before exercise. Consume another 16 to 20 ounces of fluids 15-20 minutes before exercise. Then, drink 4 to 6 ounces every 10 to 15 minutes during exercise.
"Pre-hydration" is key as is drinking small amounts at regular intervals during exercise. Endurance athletes, who perspire heavily for long periods, may need to replace sodium and other electrolytes with a sports drink or a salty snack, such as crackers and low fat cheese.
Also lost through sweating, this mineral is plentiful in vegetable and fruits, especially bananas, orange juice, melons, apricots, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, winter squash, sweet potatoes and bell peppers. Eating a diet plentiful in fruits and vegetables will assure an adequate intake.
The daily recommendation for sodium is to consume less than 2,400 mg each day. Small amounts of sodium occur naturally in most foods, including milk, vegetables and bread. Processed foods account for about 80 percent of the sodium in foods. Salt tablets are NOT necessary, as the average American consumes more than enough sodium to replace losses from perspiration.
A major mineral, calcium plays a vital role in muscle contraction. Athletes should make sure they consume adequate calcium in their diet, not only to prevent muscle cramps, but also to prevent osteoporosis. Good sources of calcium can be found in green leafy vegetables (kale, broccoli, bok choy), fish with edible bones, such as canned salmon, calcium-fortified soymilk and tofu.
Rob's Note: I make sure I pre-hydrate and then drink another 32 oz minimum during my training. If I feel the sligthest cramp in my body, my first thought is hydration. I use a whole food form of electrolyte control in the form of Sunrider Fortune Delight. I drink 6 to 8 packets a day as my drink of choice and it's my way of hydrating the body and making sure my electrolytes are balanced.
Post workout, I drink another 32 oz of water with my double NuPlus in the locker room before I even shower. Hydration is that imporatant. During the summer, I drink even more.