July 8th, 2014
When it comes to hydration, health experts have long prescribed the “8-times-8” rule: Drink eight 8-ounce glass of water a day. However, some researchers still indicated people should let thirst be the guide in keeping hydrated – now that research is proving to be incorrect. John Batson, M.D., a sport medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport in Hilton Head Island, S.C., says, “If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.”
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 16 -20 ounces of fluid one to two hours before an outdoor activity and 6 to 12 ounces for every 10 to 15 minutes that you are outside. When you are finished with the activity, you should drink more to replace what you have lost – at least another 16 to 24 ounces!
For most people, water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated, but don’t forget fruit. A whole piece of fruit can supply nutrients such as vitamin C and fiber, as well as assist with hydration. An apple is 84% water, blueberries are 80% water and cantaloupes are 89% water. Dr. Batson says, “If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, and water helps the muscles remove waste so they can work efficiently.” He also feels that sports drinks with electrolytes may be good for people doing high intensity activities in hot weather although they tend to be high in calories.
If you’re outdoors or active, drink water or other non-caffeinated beverages frequently. You’ll help prevent dehydration and serious illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke.