Woman drinking water to show the importance of hydration for athletes

In order to perform your best on and off the field, your body needs to stay hydrated. Here are some tips from UPMC Sports Medicine to keep you hydrated before, during, and after your next game.

Learn about the different ways athletes can stay hydrated.

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Hydration Tips for Athletes

Hydration Tip #1: Make a Daily Hydration Plan

Hydration is an all-day game plan. Female adults should consume 91 ounces of liquid per day while adult males should consume 125 ounces; 20 percent of those ounces should come from food.

Hydration Tip #2: Monitor Fluid Losses

Weigh yourself before and after activity. A 1-3 percent loss in body weight indicates dehydration. For every pound lost, replace with 20-24 ounces of water or sports beverage. The goal is to replace losses within two hours after activity.

Hydration Tip #3: Think About Signs of Dehydration During Exercise

Signs of dehydration are muscle fatigue, coordination decline, muscle cramps, decrease in energy, and a reduction in athletic performance.

Sports nutrition experts at UPMC Sports Medicine can help athletes of all ages and skill levels understand their fueling and hydrating needs. Our experts also offer sport-specific and female-athlete nutrition programs.

Hydration Tip #4: Hydrate With Your Foods

Hydration comes not only from beverages, but also from foods. Fruits like grapefruit, watermelon, strawberries, and cantaloupe are excellent for a pre-competition snack or added during activity for maintaining fluid balance.

Hydration Tip #5: Choose Your Sports Drink Wisely

Sports drinks should be used for prolonged exercise at or above 60 minutes in duration. Choose a sports drink that contains carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium.

RELATED: Hydration 101: What You Need to Know

Hydration Tip #6: Establish Fluid Breaks

If possible, consume three 8 ounce servings of fluids every 15-20 minutes during activity. Depending on the activity, this can be either water or a sports drink.

Hydration Tip #7: You Don’t Have to Give Up That Morning Cup of Coffee

Coffee is a mild diuretic but it doesn’t dehydrate you. You can even count coffee towards your hydration.

To make an appointment or learn more about our nutrition services, visit UPMCSportsMedicine.com.

About Sports Medicine

Sports bring with them a potential for injury. And if you are looking to prevent, treat, or rehabilitate a sports injury, UPMC Sports Medicine can help. We serve athletes from a wide variety of sports across every demographic: young or old, male or female, pro or amateur. We partner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers, and over 60 high school, college, and regional teams and events. We’re working to build better athletes. We use cutting-edge rehabilitation techniques to help you recover and provide education on how to prevent injuries.