The Importance of Hydration
Whether you are training over a long period or playing hard in competition, hydration can keep you not only at peak performance, but it also helps you avoid serious health risks.
Dehydration in athletes can lead to fatigue, headaches, decreased coordination, and muscle cramping. It’s important for athletes to pay attention to how much water they’re drinking before, during, and after exercise.
For a long run or workout, make sure you’re well hydrated during the days leading up to the workout. Making sure you’re well hydrated before a long workout will help decrease your chances of dehydration following the workout.
Try to drink at least 16 ounces of water an hour before beginning a workout. Then, during the workout, only drink when thirsty. As a general rule of thumb, doctors suggest consuming four to six ounces of water every 20 minutes during a workout. In a longer or more intense workout, some of your fluid intake could include a sports drink, which can help replace minerals lost during the workout.