Hydration for Athletes of all Ages

An often overlooked aspect of nutrition for individuals undertaking physical activity and/or sports is hydration. We often look to what nutritional supplement is best to increase our performance, but the easiest step towards improving our nutrition is by drinking an adequate amount of water. This is especially true in warmer weather conditions.

Water plays a major role in the human body and is essential for optimal cell function. The body undergoes what is considered thermoregulation where the body will produce sweat to reduce the body temperature when we are training or playing our respective sports. When we exercise in hot and humid conditions, we can lose 1-2% of body mass through our sweat evaporating, which can significantly impair our ability to perform at our optimal levels both physically and cognitively, as well as lead us into a state of hypohydration – or under hydrated.

To combat the negative effects of hypohydration, it has been shown that regular hydration before, during and after physical activity is key. Though there is no one size fits all when it comes to hydration, a general recommendation is as follows in Table 1.

Sex Age Recommended Fluid Intake (Liters)
Female 9-18 2.1 – 2.3 L
  19-50+ 2.7 L
Male 9-18 2.4 – 3.3 L
  19-50+ 3.7 L

Table 1: Recommended Fluid Intake

As the recommendations in Table 1 are only a guideline, it is best to consult with your treating physician and/or nutritionist to assess what is your individual recommended fluid intake. Our team at ProMet is always advocating for our clients’ health and work diligently to provide them with the most appropriate information and resources, and refer to our network of medical professionals when necessary. Stop in and meet our team at Glendale, Kew Gardens or Manhasset to get your summer activities kickstarted in the right direction today!

Christian Cardenas, DPT, CSCS


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