Athletes’ hydration needs before, during and after exercise

Maintaining your hydration status is of utmost importance to both your overall health and athletic performance. In fact, studies have consistently confirmed the link between hydration status and athletic performance in activities ranging from submaximal exercise to maximal-intensity aerobic performance in both warm and hot environments. But how much should you drinking and when should you be drinking it?

We explore these questions in this post, adapted from High-Performance Nutrition for Masters Athletes.

Pre-Exercise Hydration

Since hypohydration (uncompensated loss of body water that is greater than expected normal daily fluctuation) is known to adversely affect performance outcomes, it is important to start each training session and competition in a state of euhydration (a normal state of body water content), which requires adequate food and water intake during the 8 to 12 hours prior to each session. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, research demonstrates that many athletes begin exercise already dehydrated.

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