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Athlete Hydration Guides

Hydration is critical, not only for your athletic performance, but also for your safety.

To perform at your best and feel good in the process, try to follow these guidelines:
  • Stay hydrated with 8-10 cups of fluids per day. This does not have to be water only - other fluids, such as juice, milk, sports drinks, or even pop will contribute to your hydration, but they will also add calories that may be unwanted.
  • Prior to your practice or competition, consume 2 cups (500ml) of water in the two hours beforehand; try to sip the water, rather than drinking it all at once. Then, in the last hour before your activity starts, sip another1cup (250ml). Not only will this ensure your hydration, but it will also help to expand your stomach to reduce the sloshy feeling you may get when you drink during the activity.
  • During your activity, you should aim to consume between 2 and 4 cups (500ml to 1L) of fluid per hour. This can be either in the form of water, or a sports drink, like Gatorade, E-load, or Cytomax.
  • Sports drinks are best used for activities that will last more than an hour. They can improve your performance by providing carbohydrates to fuel your muscles, which will help prolong your time to fatigue, and electrolytes (sodium, potassium), which can help prevent dehydration and cramping.
  • After your activity, try to rehydrate with 3 cups (750ml) of fluid per pound of body weight you lose (no, it's not body fat!) during the activity. Remember that symptoms of dehydration include intense thirst, headache, confusion, and should be taken very seriously. If you become dehydrated, drinking a sports drink or diluted juice may be beneficial, as the carbohydrates and electrolytes allow the fluid to be more readily absorbed than water alone.

* Information provided by Jennifer Sygo, M.Sc., RD Registered Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist, Athlete's Care King & Yonge and York University

Calculate Your Usage
Number of Athletes/Workers How long is Practice/Shift? (Hours) Number of Days Gallons needed
x x 28 oz.* x =

* Based on NATA drinking guidelines, most athletes will need about 28'40 oz. every hour of play;
Casas, D. et. al. Journal of Athletic Training 35; 212'242, 2000.

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