how much fluidWith temperatures hitting over 100 degrees in the summertime, Texans need to be well informed about staying hydrated. Dehydration and heat stroke can cause a number of symptoms like vomiting, seizures, kidney issues, and even shock. During more active days, a lack of fluids can impact your mental and physical performance. But how much fluid should I drink, what should I drink, and how often?

Should I Be Drinking Water or Sports Drinks?

If you’re running a marathon or playing in a game that lasts for hours, a sports drink may do better for your body. When you sweat, your body loses sodium. Losing a lot of sodium can prevent your cells from handling the water you take in. As a result, parts of your body can swell, including your brain and heart. Drinking fluids with sodium can help your body regulate how much water your cells can hold. For one-hour workouts or shorter games, you can stick to water or have a moderate amount of drinks with electrolytes. Consuming too many electrolytes can lead to an electrolyte imbalance.

How Much Fluid Should I Be Drinking?

For high-activity days like running or participating in lengthy sporting events, drink about 15 to 20 ounces of fluids a couple of hours beforehand. Then drink another ten ounces fifteen minutes before you start the activity. For high-intensity workouts, try to drink eight ounces of fluids every fifteen minutes, and increase the amount if you’re sweating heavily. Weigh yourself after your activity is completed. For every pound you lost, drink another 16 to 20 ounces of fluids.

When you drink, try to take longer drinks instead of sips. Studies have shown that fluid moves faster throughout the body when you drink more ounces at a time. Why? The increased pressure from larger amount of fluids entering the stomach lets the body know it’s time to get digestion moving. There is a limit to this principle, however. Researchers found that ingesting around 30 ounces at one time may actually slow absorption, although they’re not sure why. Taking in about 20 ounces of fluid should hydrate your body quickly.

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