15 Hydration Facts for Athletes

Water is a wonderful performance enhancer. When a star U Conn basketball player took the advice of his sports nutritionist Nancy Rodriguez, RD and started drinking enough to consistently void a light-colored urine, he was amazed at how much better he felt all day.

Unfortunately, too many athletes overlook the power of this essential nutrient. Perhaps it's your turn to give water a try? This article offers droplets of information to enhance your water I.Q., optimize your water balance, and help you feel and perform better.

More: Which Is Best - Water or Sports Drink?

1. You don't have to drink plain water to hydrate.

All fluids count, as do foods that have high water content. For example:

  • Oatmeal is 84 percent water.
  • Low-fat milk is 90 percent water.
  • Coffee is 99.5 percent water.
  • Lettuce is 96 percent water.
  • Tomato is 95 percent water.
  • Broccoli is 89 percent water.
  • Low-fat vanilla yogurt is 79 percent water.
  • Ice cream is 60 percent water.

2. You cannot function without water.

Your body cannot survive without sufficient water, as noted by the fact that athletes die from dehydration. Water is the solvent for your biochemical reactions.

3. You need water for digestion.

Water is required to moisten food (saliva), digest food (gastric secretions), transport nutrients to and from cells (blood), discard waste (urine), and dissipate heat (sweat). Water is a major component of the muscles and organs; about 60 percent of a male's body weight and 50 percent of a woman's body weight is water.

More: 5 Digestion Tips for Athletes

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