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How can I prevent dehydration during exercise?

The most important, and probably most obvious, way to prevent dehydration during exercise is to drink plenty of fluids. You should drink fluids before, during and after any form of exercise. Pay attention to your environment, as it is much easier to become dehydrated out on a sports field in the middle of the summer than it is in an air-conditioned gym. Therefore, your environment should play a role in determining what type of exercise you will be doing and for what duration.

The last and probably most important tip is to listen to your body. As you become dehydrated your body will give you signs and encourage you to rehydrate. Some signs of dehydration include dry mouth, thirst, sweating, fatigue, muscle cramping, flushed skin and dizziness. If you begin to develop any of these symptoms you have already waited too long to hydrate and should start drinking fluids immediately.

To prevent dehydration during exercise try the following:

  • Sip 7 to 10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during long or heavy exercise or physical activity.
  • Drink an additional 8 ounces of fluid within 30 minutes after your physical activity.
  • Use cool water rather than cold water to help your body absorb water faster.
  • Water is always best.
  • If you like sports drinks, diluting them helps minimize excess calories and caffeine, which can raise your blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Drinking soda can increase the rate at which you lose fluids.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.