Consuming cool fluids during exercise is very important for your health and performance. All of the body’s important chemical reactions, such as energy production are carried out in water. Did you know that about 1/2 of our body weight is water? Although water has many important functions in our body, the most important function for athletes is to keep your body from overheating.
When you are not drinking enough fluids, you become dehydrated. This can affect your performance on and off the course and you cannot exercise as hard or as long. If you don’t drink enough fluids you will feel not only thirsty but sluggish and sometimes even confused.
The following are basic guidelines for drinking fluids when you are getting ready to tee it up:
- Drink four to eight glasses (32 to 64 ounces) of fluid the day before the event.
- Drink two to three glasses (about 14 to 22 ounces) of fluid before exercise the day
- Drink six to 12 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise.
- Fruit juices, carbohydrate gels, soda and some sport drinks have too much carbohydrates and can actually slow down your body’s ability to take in needed fluid.
- Beware of those sport drinks with stimulants like caffeine. They can be dangerous and are not recommended before or after exercise. Caffeine can also cause dehydration.
- Drink on schedule, rather than relying on thirst. You might need fluids before you experience feeling thirsty.
- Drink during training as well as competition.