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It has been summer in Florida for quite a while already, but I know the rest of the country is catching up quickly! It is so important for proper hydration during these hot and humid summer months, especially if you are out working in the yard or if you or your kids are exercising in the heat.
For every pound lost in sweat, you need to replenish with 16 ounces of fluid. Don't think that just because you lost a pound or two in a workout that it is from fat! It is very likely all fluid. The fat comes off later, but immediately after exercise it is fluid loss. Weigh yourself before and after to see how much you may have lost during exercise. How much you lose depends on how much you sweat and your body size. The bigger you are and the more you sweat, the more you lose.
Since the NBA Finals are going on right now (and my Orlando Magic are in contention for the trophy), think about this: The Gatorade Sports Science Institute did research on basketball players and found that a male player can lose as much as 10.2 pounds of fluid in a game! That is a LOT of sweat!!! It takes a lot to rehydrate a guy sweating that much, too.
Recommended Guidelines for Before, During and After Endurance Exercise
Before: Drink 16-20 ounces 2-3 hours before exercise and another 7-10 ounces 10-20 minutes before working out.
During: Drink 6-10 ounces every 15 minutes
After: Drink at 16-20 ounces for every pound lost within 2 hours after exercise has finished.
What to Drink
Plain water: This is fine for shorter amounts of exercise, but if you are sweating a lot or going more than 45 and definitely 60 minutes, consider a sports drink.
Fitness waters (think Propel). The flavor helps people drink more than just plain water. These are also great for when you are at rest and get sick of plain water. Some fitness waters also have electrolytes or B-vitamins.
Sports drinks (like Gatorade): Sports drinks are ideal to drink during exercise. Gatorade has spent 4o years researching the exact amount and type of carbohydrate as well as the electrolytes (like sodium and potassium that you lose in sweat) to put into their formulations to get the best hydration. In fact, the electrolytes help the body to reabsorb more fluid than water alone. Sports drinks provide carbs that the body needs during exercise to provide energy to working muscles.