Well…are you? How seriously do you really take your training, you might prep your food the night before exercise and you may get up first thing, or get yourself into the gym, on the track or in the pool after work, but are you considering one of THE most important factors when exercising for more than an hour…HYDRATION!?
Your fluid requirements during exercise vary depending on the duration and intensity of activity, and the ambient air temperature. For exercise durations that last less than an hour, fluid may not be needed, but should you exercise for more than an hour and the air temperature is enough to cause excessive sweating, then you should definitely be consuming fluid! The more you sweat the more electrolytes you need to, so here are some hard and fast rules to follow:
1.) Aim to match fluid losses through sweat with fluid intake
2.) Generally you should aim to not lose more than 1-2% bodyweight. Weigh before and after exercise to ascertain sweat rates, any weight loss will certainly be due to fluid (unless you took a giant dump, gave birth or lost a limb some how during this time)
3.) Get to know your own sweat rate, if you sweat a lot be sure to intermittently sip an isotonic drink with water before, during and after exercise
4.) For activity lasting more than an hour you should try to consume between 150-250ml of fluid every 15 mins (depending on sweat rates and overall bodyweight)
5.) Athletes should make the most of training days to construct a fluid and hydration plan/regime
Thomas, B & Bishop, J. (2007). Manual of Dietetic Practice. 4th Ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing