What is the most important nutrient for most human beings, specifically athletes? Water. Many may be under the false impression that drinking water isn’t as important in the cooler months. While you are likely sweating less in the winter, and therefore not losing as much water, proper hydration is still essential for almost every bodily function. Water makes up 60 percent of the human body, after all.
Drinking two quarts of water per day is recommended. Athletes need even more, to replace the water they’ve lost through perspiration. Staying hydrated before, during and after any exercise technique is of utmost importance.
Do not wait until you feel thirsty to quench your hydration. Thirst is one of the late indicators of dehydration and once you feel thirsty, you’re often already at a significant water deficit. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids even when you aren’t thirsty to ensure your body is functioning properly. Drinking small amounts of water throughout the day is highly beneficial. Cooler beverages lower your body temperature and decrease sweating. One sure-fire way to check your hydration level is through evaluating the color of your urine. Small amounts of dark urine indicate dehydration, and larger amounts of clear urine likely indicate adequate hydration levels.
If you’d like to speak to a sports medicine professional, please contact Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics at 901-759-3100.
This post was adapted from AAOS.