Not only is eating the right types of foods extremely important for your athletic performance, but drinking enough fluids is also essential for optimal performance. Staying hydrated enables your body to provide adequate circulation to both your muscles and body surface.
A mere 1 percent dehydration level will hinder your athletic performance and health. Signs of dehydration are fatigue, headache, light-headedness, dry mouth and dark-colored urine.
More: 6 Best Hydrating Foods for Athletes
Maintaining proper hydration and electrolyte balance will:
- Optimize your athletic potential
- Result in an adequate energy level
- Lead to the proper functioning of your nerves and muscles
- Allow you to think clearly and quickly
- Enable you to acclimate to warmer or colder weather
- Reduce the likelihood of cramps
- Allow your heart to work efficiently
- Result in an accurately perceived intensity level
- Assist in the maintenance of a cooler body temperature
More: Measure Your Sweat Loss for Optimal Hydration
Are you hydrated?
You can determine whether you are drinking enough by the color and volume of your urine:
- You should urinate every two to four hours throughout the day.
- Your urine should be light in color, like lemonade, but not clear and in significant quantity.
- If your urine is dark in color, drink more fluids.
- Dark color urine may also be a result of taking vitamin supplements. If this is true for you, rely on the volume of your urine rather than the color.
More: 15 Hydration Facts for Athletes