Hydration and the Use of Water Bottles

The athletic department encourages the athletes to provide their own water bottles for practice and games. Water bottles can transfer diseases very easily if the water bottle opening comes in contact with bodily fluids. If water bottles need to be shared, proper use of squirting should be done at all times.

Hydration – Fluid Guidelines

  • Drink according to a schedule based upon individual fluid needs; during and after practices and games.
  • Drink 17-20 ounces of water or sports drinks with 6% to 8% percent CHO, two to three hours before exercise.
  • Drink another 7-10 ounces of water or sport drink 10 to 20 minutes before exercise.
  • Drink early – by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
  • In general, every 10-20 minutes drink at least 7-10 ounces of water or sports drink to maintain hydration, and remember to drink beyond your thirst.
  • Within two hours, drink enough to replace any weight loss from exercise.
  • Drink approximately 20-24 ounces of sports drink per pound of weight loss.
  • Dehydration usually occurs with a weight loss of 2% of body weight or more.
  • During events when a high rate of fluid intake is necessary to sustain hydration, sports drinks with less than 7% percent CHO should be used to optimize fluid delivery. These sports drinks have a faster gastric emptying rate and thus aid in hydration.
  • Salt should never be added to drinks, and salt tablets should be avoided.
  • Cool beverages at temperatures between 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit are recommended for best results with fluid replacement.

Dehydration, Its Effects On Performance, And its Relationship To Heat Illness

  1. Dehydration can affect an athlete’s performance in less than an hour of exercise – sooner if the athlete begins the session dehydrated.
  2. Dehydration of just 1% to 2% of body weight (only 1.5-3 Lb. for a 150-pound athlete) can negatively influence performance.
  3. Dehydration of greater than three percent of body weight increases an athlete’s risk of heat illness (heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke).
  4. High-body-fat athletes can have a harder time with exercise and can become dehydrated faster than lower-body-fat athletes working out under the same environmental conditions.
  5. Clothing, such as dark, bulky, or rubber protective equipment can drastically increase the chance of heat illness and dehydration

What Not to Drink

  1. Drinks with carbohydrate (CHO) concentrations of greater than 8% should be avoided.
  2. Fruit juices, CHO gels, sodas, and sports drinks that have a CHO greater than 6% to 8% percent are not recommended during exercise as sole beverages.
  3. Beverages containing caffeine, alcohol, and carbonation are not to be used because of the high risk of dehydration associated with excess urine production, or decreased voluntary fluid intake.

Journal of Athletic Training: 35(2): 212-224; NR-IS Handbook Heat Related Illness, Sandra Shultz Phd, ATC; CSCS Steven Zinder MS, ATC