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Healthy Hydration

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Healthy Hydration

From Dr. Dan Lommell

The following is an excerpt from a chapter in Strength, Conditioning and Injury Prevention for Hockey, by Joe Horrigan and Doc Kreis.1 Although the information below appeared in a book on ice hockey, it applies to athletes of all sports. This is especially true anyone who will be participating in sports and activities in the Geneseo summer heat. Following these guidelines can prevent serious heat-related illness and even death.

Day Before

Four Hours Before (Optional)

Three Hours Before

Two Hours Before

One Hour Before



1/4 oz water per pound body weight* over and above normal intake divided evenly throughout the day(Multiply your body weight by 1/4 AKA .25.)

If dehydration is a problem, drink
1 oz of sports drink** per 10 lbs of body weight.***

(Divide your body weight by 10.)

1 oz sports drink** or water per 10 lbs of body weight.***

1 oz sports drink** or water per 10 lbs of body weight.***

1 oz. water per 10 lbs. of body weight.

Sports drink: Consume as much as comfortably possible.

Beverage: water or sports drink. If competing within 24 hours: sports drink.

Amount: 16 oz per pound of body weight lost. If competing within 24 hours, 24 oz per pound body weight lost.

* 160 pounds x 1/4 = 40 ounces above your normal consumption.
** A sports drink should contain no more than 75 calories per 8 oz serving. Consume a sports drink if:
it is the second game in two days;
it is the third game in four days;
you feel flat or fatigued;
you are sick or have been sick in the previous 72 hours with a cold or flu;
you have cramped within 72 hours; or
you have missed time due to injury and are deconditioned.
*** 160 pounds 10 = 16 ounces.

Drinking Guidelines

There are enormous differences in the amounts of fluids that athletes require. Sweat rates vary considerably and are affected by each athlete's individual physical condition, being used to heat and humidity, and pre-existing fluid levels. Weather conditions such as heat and humidity also play an important factor. Carbohydrate intake prior to competition increases your energy reserves and also helps in fluid retention. In order to best compete and prepare for the upcoming season, all athletes should practice proper hydration during summer and fall training; this will improve their ability to hydrate during actual competition, whether outdoors or indoors.

Morning Competition

           Follow "day before" protocol.

           Consume a 20-ounce carbohydrate-loading beverage as soon as you wake up.

           Consume a sports drink 60 minutes before competing (1 ounce for every 10 pounds of body weight).

           A "carbo-load" beverage should contain no less than 150 calories per 8-ounce serving. You can make these using powdered sports drink mixes to make them stronger.

           Remember that when an athlete pre-hydrates, approximately 50 percent of the fluid consumed will be lost in their urine. For example, in the hours before a game, if one has consumed 48 ounces, 24 ounces will be lost in urine, leaving a net gain of about 24 ounces. Although it does not seem like much, having 24 ounces more fluid in your body than your opponent will give you a physiological and psychological advantage. Between periods, drink as much as you comfortably can. Shoot for between 10 and 20 ounces, depending on how much you played and how much you weigh. The general rule is The more you play and the more you weigh, the greater your fluid needs are.

Safe Preseason and "Two-A-Day" Practice Guidelines



           Drink throughout the day.

           Drink one ounce for each 10 pounds of body weight per hour, beginning three hours before practice.

           Drink as much as you comfortably can during practice. If you have to

           Drink before you are thirsty.

           Drink 16-24 ounces of fluid per pound of body weight lost after practice.


"Do's" and "Don'ts"

           Do weigh yourself before and after practice.

           Do observe the color of your urine. (Dark urine means you need to drink more.)

           Do watch the volume of your urine. (Small amounts indicate you need to drink more.)

           Do tell your coach or Dr. Lommell if you are on any kind of medications.

           Don't consume beverages containing alcohol and caffeine. (They reduce the power of your water-holding hormone.)

           Don't come to camp or preseason workouts out of shape.

           Don't practice or play if you are sick or injured (unless you are medically cleared).

           Don't take Ephedra or Ephedrine in any form It can kill you.


Warning Signs of Heat Illness


bulletexcessive thirst
bulletpoor performance
bulletYou feel chills in hot weather.
bulletYou feel hot without sweating.


Be Smart

Every year, young athletes decide to be "tough" instead of smart, and every year, unnecessary tragedies occur. Heat illness can progress from simple headaches and weakness to catastrophe within minutes! If you do not feel well, be smart: tell your coaches and Dr. Lommell. It could save your life!



1.      Andersen, G.D. Dehydration/rehydration in Strength, Conditioning, and Injury Prevention for Hockey by Horrigan JM, Kreis EJ. 2003 McGraw-Hill New York, New York.

2.      Andersen, G.D. Hydration Review in Dynamic Chiropractic Clinical Nutrition, www.ChiroWeb.com, July 28, 2003.

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