Hydration For Endurance Athletes

Athletes should be well hydrated before training/sporting events. Dehydration of ~2% of body weight can impair athletic performance. Fluid balance is critical for normal cardiovascular and thermoregulatory functions.

Before Exercise:

At least 4 hours before exercise, athletes should consume approximately 5-7ml fluid per kilogram body weight. If urine is still dark athletes should consume 3 to 5ml/kg body weight more slowly 2 hours before competition.

Consuming sodium rich foods stimulate thirst and help to retain fluids.

During Exercise:

Athletes should aim to consume 3 to 8 ounces of a 6% to 8% carbohydrate beverage every 10-20 minutes during exercise lasting longer than 60-90 minutes.

Carbohydrates will help maintain blood glucose levels, reduce fatigue and promote better performance during prolonged exercise.

Drinking a sports drink with protein can also help increase fluid retention.

Post Exercise:

Athletes should ingest  20-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost during training/exercise. Drinking a sports drink or consuming water with foods containing electrolytes such as sodium and chloride can help replenish electrolytes and speed up rehydration.



  • NSCA’S Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition 2011


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