The importance of proper hydration is not stressed enough in today’s society. With summer activities in full swing, parents & coaches need to make sure their kids are getting the proper intake of fluids to keep them hydrated. The recommended fluid needs for individuals are highly variable depending on the duration and intensity of physical activity & environmental conditions.
According to an article written in Nutrition Reviews, fluid needs are based on sweat losses. Warmer temperatures & higher intensity exercises will cause individuals to produce more sweat. Research shows that fluid loss during recreational activity (less than 1 hour) can be replaced by just consuming water. Whereas, sports drinks containing electrolyte replacements may be more beneficial when high intensity exercises are done for a shorter duration (i.e. crossfit, circuit training) or less intense activities done for a longer period of time (i.e. long distance runs or bikes). Drinking small amounts of fluid during exercise can reduce the decline in performance due to dehydration.
The sports drinks are more appealing to younger populations because they simply taste better than plain old water. If your kids won’t drink water, then sports drinks are the way to go. However, sports drinks are not calorie or cost-free. If you or someone you know has a preexisting health condition (i.e. diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure) consult with your health care provider before consuming excess amounts of sport drinks.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), inactive or sedentary individuals should consume between 1-2 Liters or 34-70 ounces of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic fluids daily. Moderately active individuals should consume between 3-5 Liters of water. Individuals who endure prolonged periods of exercise (greater than 60 minutes) should consume 10+ Liters of water a day. Other factors need to be taken into account when considering about how much fluid is adequate. These factors include but are not limited to: environmental conditions (i.e. temperature, wind, humidity, etc.), clothing worn during the day, body mass & size, physical fitness level and genetic variability, just to name a few. If you are unsure as to how much fluid you should be drinking throughout the course of the day, contact your trusted JointFit provider.