Proper hydration is one of the most important aspects of a healthy physical activity. Drinking the right amount of fluids before, during and after physical activity is vital to providing your body with the fluids it needs to perform properly.
Sports dietitians assist athletes by developing individualised hydration plans that enhance performance in training and competition while minimising risks for dehydration, over-hydration and heat illness and injury. The overall goal is to minimise dehydration without over-drinking. Adequate hydration varies among individuals.
Dehydration can occur in virtually every physical activity scenario. It doesn’t have to be hot. You don’t have to have visible perspiration. You can become dehydrated in the water, at a pool or lake, or skiing on a winter day. Dehydration results when athletes fail to adequately replace fluid lost through sweating. Since dehydration that exceeds 2 percent body weight loss harms exercise performance, athletes are advised to begin exercise well hydrated, minimize dehydration during exercise and replace fluid losses after exercise.