Hydration and Fluid Intake: Before, During, and After Training

Sweating occurs during most straneous bouts of physical activity. Now, let’s take into account performing at a competitive level. Not only will hydration be important due to the liquid that we will lose due to sweating, but also consider the bodily functions that occur at the cellular level and the amount of water we could be losing from perspiration through breathing alone. Dehydration both lowers blood volume and has shown to induce negative effects on performance (Bernadot, 2012). With approximately 45% to 75% of our body weight being water, we need to understand the importance of maintain proper hydration (Haff, & Triplett, 2016, p. 196).

Hydration Before Training

Individuals should consume around 5 to 7 ml of fluid per kilogram of body weight at least 4 hours before any bout of exercise or straneous activity. Participants should also consume additional fluid closer to the start of physical activity (Coburn, & Malek, 2012, p. 116).

Hydration During Training

Personally, if you are not nutrient depleted except for water levels, water should be your go to source for hydration. Now, since we are talking about hydration in regards to physical activity, we know there will be some form of nutrient depletion that we should consider in replenishing. Depending on the duration of training or competitive bouts, the text from Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning by Haff and Triplett (2016, p. 199) recommends that athletes consume a sports drink with 20 to 30 mEq of sodium per liter, 2 to 5 mEq of potassium per liter, and carbohydrate concentration of 5 to 10%. Along with these recommendations, it is also suggested to ingest 5 to 9+ ounces of water every 20 minutes of prolonged bouts of physical activity (Haff, & Triplett, 2016, p. 199).

Monitoring Fluid Intake & Hydration Post Training

Losing more than 2% of our body weight due to sweat is a sure sign of dehydration. There should be protocols in place to monitor an athlete’s hydration level via urine specific gravity tests or a simple pre- and post workout body weight test (Haff, & Triplett, 2016, p. 196). With each kilogram of body weight that the athlete has lost due to that training bout, he or she should ingest 1.5L of fluid (Haff, & Triplett, 2016, p. 197). As we all know that we lose sodium in our sweat, we may not be aware that the concentration of sodium ranges from 0.2 to even more than 12.5 g/L, depending on the individual (Haff, & Triplett, 2016, p. 199).


Bernadot, D. (2012). Advanced Sports Nutrition. Human Kinetics

Coburn, J. W., & Malek, M. H. (2012). NSCA’s essentials of personal training. Champaign (Illinois): Human Kinetics.

Haff, G., & Triplett, N. T. (2016). Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

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