Hydration 101: Make a plan 07/22/2011 Having a ‘hydration plan’ is a must, especially during the hot summer months. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) suggests everyone, not just athletes, learn the basics of proper hydration, and encourages an individualized hydration plan to stay on course; be it for a round of golf, a trip to the beach, or while working out.
Pre-hydrate: Starting out well hydrated is key to success; the ACSM recommends consuming 14 to 20 oz. of fluids about 2 hours prior to exercising or prolonged exposure to the elements.
Hydrate: During activity/exposure drink to your sweat rate. Individuals sweat differently, so know your body and how you handle the heat. If you are a “heavy sweater” drink more water, if you are a “light sweater” still replace the fluids lost, but not as much. If you are engaging in prolonged activity (longer than 60 minutes) consider drinking a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost through sweating and replace some carbohydrates used up during exercise.
Re-hydrate: Following exercise, slowly rehydrate the body with water or a sports drink so you achieve the same level of hydration that you started with (assuming you were hydrated when you started).
Individuals with chronic medical conditions should consult with a physician prior to exercising, and should ask for specific recommendations regarding fluid intake and caloric balance during exercise/outdoor activity.