Ensure you stay fluid during workouts with this sports nutrition hydration advice

Whether you are working out on your own at home, or taking part in a virtual club training session, it’s important to stay on top of your hydration levels.

Fluid makes up to 50 to 75 per cent of a person’s body, although this varies with age and gender.

Ozcan Esen, a lecturer in sports nutrition at Manchester Metropolitan University, and sport and exercise nutrition BSc(Hons) students have produced some hydration advice for everyone to follow.

Daily hydration is essential for:

  • The process of ingestion and digestion
  • Transport of nutrients and metabolites
  • Excretion of waste products via kidney
  • Regulation of body temperature.

As a general rule, you should drink between 1.2 and 1.5 litres a day with the assumption of a further one litre through food.

Fresh juices, milk, tea, coffee and soft drinks all contribute to water consumption.

Hydration pre-workout

The main priority is to ensure you are well hydrated before exercise as performance will suffer if you are in a dehydrated state.

Ensure you drink five to seven millilitres of fluid per kilogram of body weight slowly at least four hours before exercise.

For example, for a 40kg person intake should be between 200-280 ml or for a 70kg person, intake should be between 350-490 ml.

However, don’t force yourself to drink too much before exercise as it could have negative effects on your performance.

Hydration during workout

Every athlete has different hydration needs during exercise, due to sweat rates varying from one person to the next.

Performance can be maintained if you replace the fluids lost through sweat during exercise.

By weighing yourself before and after exercise, you can estimate the volume of fluid your body requires to remain hydrated during exercise.

Hydration post-workout

After exercise, both water and sodium needs to be replaced.

To fully rehydrate, try to drink 1.5 litres per each kilogram of body weight lost in sweat.

Do not drink all your required fluids in one go, make sure you spread them out over a few hours.

How to work out how much fluid you need to drink to rehydrate after your workout:

  • Weigh yourself before working out
  • Make sure to keep a note of how much fluid you drink within your workout
  • Weigh yourself afterwards
  • Take your starting weight and take away your post-workout weight
  • Also take away any fluids you drank
  • Take this final number and times it by 1.5.

Dehydration and overhydration

Be aware of dehydration and overhydration as both can have different affects.

Dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, loss of precision/concentration, irritability and nausea.

On the other hand, overhydration can lead to fluid retention, hyponatremia and comas.