Water plays a crucial role in exercise, especially for thermoregulation. Dehydration, not only affects performance, but also causes serious complications, even death if not managed properly.

The body can survive 30 days without food but only 4 to 10 days without water. Water is the largest component of the body, making up from 45 to 70% percent of a person’s body weight. Total body water is determined mostly by body composition. Muscle tissue is approximately 75% water, whereas fat tissue is about 20% water.

Water affects training performance more than any other nutrient. Consuming fluids in sufficient amounts is essential for normal cellular function and of particular importance to active individuals and athletes, thermoregulation.

Before a Training Session

Before prolonged exercise in a hot environment intake should be approximately 16 fluid ounces (0.5L) of a cool beverage 2 hours before before a workout.

During a Training Session

Provide cool beverages (about 50-70 degrees F, or 10 – 21 degrees C)

• Have fluids readily available, since the thirst mechanism does not function adequately when large volumes of water are lost.

• Drink 6 to 8 fluid ounces every 15 minutes

After a Training Session

Replenish fluids with at least 1 pint (0.5L) of fluid for every pound (0.45kg) of body weight lost. Weight should be regained, indicating that rehydration has occurred, before the next workout.