How to Hydrate Properly [4 Tips for Athletes]

Summer is, without a doubt, the season in which proper hydration requires special attention, especially given the absurd temperatures of the present. Despite the popularity of this topic among athletes, it also applies to those who do not engage in regular physical activity.

Obviously, drinking water frequently is the primary recommendation for hydrating properly. We should consume approximately 250 ml of water for every 15 minutes of exercise under normal conditions (therefore, 1 liter of water during an hour of training would be optimal). To train with high temperatures, however, we must aim for double. Another piece of advice is to not wait until you are thirsty to drink water: thirst is not a particularly accurate indicator of dehydration because by the time we feel it, we are already dehydrated.

Once the “basics” have been clarified, responding to a bodily need that changes with rising temperatures requires more specific measures: “One is to control the amount of water we absorb, and the other, no less important, is to check the color of our urine,” explains Dr. Edoardo Tacconi, who has provided helpful tips to hydrate properly during the hottest months of the year, such as during the summer.

Dr. Edoardo Tacconi’s advice is crystal clear: “Do not underestimate the loss of macro and trace elements during physical activity: the intense sweating of physical activity causes us to lose sodium and chlorine in particular, and it is precisely these two molecules that make up table salt, which should not be eliminated but managed optimally.”

Control the amount of water you drink 

Dr. Tacconi’s most important piece of advice is to limit our water intake. We almost always drink only when thirsty, but this may not be sufficient for a large number of individuals. In actuality, if you perceive the stimuli of thirst, it indicates that the dehydration process is already present; therefore, you should always attempt to anticipate it.

Under optimal temperature conditions — that is, 20 degrees and 60 percent humidity — the guidelines recommend that women consume at least 1.5-2 liters of water per day and adult men consume at least 2-2.5 liters of water per day. Therefore, it is obvious that during warmer weather, it is prudent to drink more water. Continuing with the signs and symptoms of dehydration, experiencing persistently dry lips or skin is an indication that proper hydration is urgently required.

Color and weight of urine 

Urine should be clear after intense and prolonged muscular exertion; if it is not, you should drink more water. It can be useful for athletes to weigh themselves before and after physical activity (naked) to determine the amount of fluid lost.

Eat seasonal fruit 

They are nutritious foods that contain a great deal of water. This is the case, for instance, with melons and watermelons, which also contribute to the intake of many trace elements (copper, iodine, iron, and fluorine, among others) that can be lost during the summer due to perspiration. Moreover, these fruits are a rich source of vitamins and fiber.

Reduce alcohol

As is common knowledge, alcohol dehydrates the body and produces toxic byproducts. Therefore, it is always advisable to consume a great deal of water during dinners and between drinks. Not to mention that it can also alleviate the discomfort associated with a hangover.

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