Fluid is the most important performance-enhancing nutrient!

  • Maintaining consistent body temperature is a major performance factor.    
  • The most important function of water is cooling your body during activity.
  • Evaporation of sweat into water vapor cools the body.

Normal Daily Intake

  • 8 – 1 cup glasses of fluid a day. This could be water, juice, milk, or other non-caffeinated beverages.

Pre-exercise intake

  • 2 hours before activity: drink 2-2.5 cups of water.
  • 15 minutes before activity: drink 1 cup of a sports drink or water.

During Exercise

  • Drink _ cup of water or sports drink every 10-15 minutes.
  • Fluids that contain carbohydrate, such as a sports drink, can provide energy for activities that last an hour or more.

After Exercise

  • Weigh yourself before your activity and after the activity. For every pound lost,
  • Drink 2 cups of sports drink or water as soon as possible to increase recovery rate.

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink even if you are not thirsty. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
  • Drink something that tastes good. You’ll drink more.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks (coffee, sodas, tea) and alcohol since they cause dehydration.
  • The best way to determine if you are hydrated is by the color of your urine.
  • A clear color means you are hydrated.
  • A dark yellow color means you need more fluid.

Water Pointers

  • Kool-aid, crystal light, bottled water, or juice.
  • Bring a water bottle to class.
  • Put a water bottle, juice box, or sports drink in your work-out bag.
  • Carry bottled water in your backpack.
  • Add a glass of water to each meal.
  • Eat Jell-o and popsicles as snacks.
  • Visit every water fountain you pass.
  • Choose caffeine-free fluids.
  • Keep fluids available at your dorm or apartment.

Sports drinks and dilute juice may be better than water following vigorous activity because they contain sodium which can help you retain water and restore lost fluids.