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Hydration 101: What You Need to Know


WRITTEN BY: Sports Medicine
Thursday, August 13th, 2015

As the temperature increases, so does your risk of getting dehydrated. We asked Ron DeAngelo, Director of UPMC Sports Performance, for his top hydration tips. Check out the infographic below to find out why you should stay hydrated.

What's your H2O IQ? Here's what you need to know. Click To Tweet Infographic: Hydration 101 | UPMC HealthBeat

Dehydration Symptoms

Dehydration happens when your body isn’t getting enough fluids. You can usually tell when you’re dehydrated, but common symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Decrease in energy
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Longer post-workout recovery
  • Upset or burning stomach

One of the most accurate signs is both color and volume of your urine. Next time nature calls, refer to the handy guide below.

Cumulative hydration

Hydration is important over any period of time – days, weeks, or even months. It’s not really possible to “catch up” if you go awhile without drinking enough fluids. To keep your tank full, we recommend that men consume 100 ounces of water daily, and women consume 70 ounces. So, each day you go without drinking enough fluids, your supply goes down until you risk getting heat exhaustion or severe muscle cramps. Remember, these guidelines are based on normal activity levels, and should increase with more physical exertion.

Fill ‘Er Up: How to Stay Hydrated

Here are a few tricks to keep your tank full:

  • Schedule it! Have a glass of water first thing in the morning and one hour before you go to bed.
  • Include a healthy-sized drink with every meal.
  • Avoid sugary drinks, soda, or alcohol.
  • More is not always better! Too much water can leave you feeling bloated.
  • Get most of your fluids from drinking. However, try fruits and veggies that are high in water content, including pineapple, watermelon, blueberries, pears, grapefruit, cucumber, lettuce, celery, and tomatoes.

A Sweaty Situation

How you sweat also plays an important role in staying hydrated. Try this easy calculation:

  • Weigh yourself before and after a moderate workout, wearing the same clothing.
  • In ounces, determine the difference between pre-and post-workout weight. 1 pound = 16 ounces.
  • Add this number to how much fluid you drank during your workout.
  • Divide this by the length of your workout (number of hours).
  • The resulting number is your hourly sweat rate.

Now you know how much you need to drink every hour to replace your lost sweat!

For more information or to learn more from our sports performance and nutrition experts, visit the UPMC Sports Medicine website or call 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).

Sports Medicine

UPMC Sports Medicine is the region’s largest and most experienced program dedicated to treating, training, and inspiring athletes at levels, in all sports. Our physicians, surgeons, physical therapists, athletic trainers, sports nutrition, and sports performance experts are dedicated to helping athletes and active people recover from injuries, and even prevent them. Read More