Guest Post: Hydration – How Much? When? Water or Sports Drink?

From time to time, I will be teaming up with other sports mamas and sharing some of their content here on my blog. You can be assured that it will be content carefully hand picked by me that I feel will be either educational, beneficial, or entertaining to each of you.

My first team up is with Beth Jessop from Sports Moms United. She is a former Elite 8 NCAA Div. II basketball player and current sports mama to Beau, age 8, and Avry, age 10.

Proper Hydration is extremely important to athletic performance! There is no question that an athlete’s performance will suffer if they are not hydrated properly. So what exactly does it look like to “properly hydrate”.

Here Are a Few Recommendations for Staying Hydrated Before, During and After An Activity:

  1. A couple of hours before activity, you can fill up on water and then start moderately drinking when you get closer, say 5 to 15 minutes before your event (you don’t want to just “fill up” close to the time of the activity or you will be visiting the bathroom when you don’t want to be).
  2. While you are participating in the activity, don’t try to just drink to replace what you have lost sweating…instead try to work to just keep your thirst at bay by responding to your thirst with small amounts of water.
  3. Don’t allow your thirst to “build up” to the point where you feel like you must chug a full bottle all at one time. Doing that will raise the risk of diluting the sodium in your blood.
  4. Taking a few small sips every 10 minutes during activity is a good idea to keep you well-hydrated.
  5. AFTER your activity, continue to sip fluids over several hours to maximize fluid retention. This will help in preparing your body for your next day’s activities.

What About the Sports Drinks? Are They Necessary?

Mention “Sports Drinks” to an athlete (anyone, really) and we think….replacing electrolytes. So what are electrolytes and why are they important!
Electrolytes, in our bodies, are in the form of sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium…these are just a few. Electrolytes do A LOT…they regulate our nerve and muscle function, our body’s hydration, blood PH, blood pressure and help to rebuild damaged tissue. All of these things are critical for athletic performance!
As it relates specifically to hydration, electrolytes allow us to hydrate faster and more efficiently….important stuff. So no wonder all the sports drinks out there market their necessity. BUT you must remember that that is exactly what they are doing…marketing a product. Sports drinks often come with other ingredients that an athlete doesn’t need…a ton of sugar, artificial ingredients/colors.
So there are natural choices that give you all of what you need and none of the things YOU DON’T NEED!
Here Are Four Recipes For "Natural Sport Drinks!" Try them out and see for yourself!

How Can You Tell If You Are Properly Hydrated?

A good way to tell, without getting too technical, is to pay attention to the color of your urine throughout the day:
If it’s dark yellow, you are not drinking enough.
If it’s light yellow to clear, you are optimal or close to optimal.
If it’s totally clear & you are running to the bathroom every 10-20 minutes, you are over-hydrated and should slow down.

*** Want to be a part of the Sport Moms United Facebook Community? Click HERE to join!