Dr. Matthew Pecci discusses how to best stay hydrated before, during and after practice for optimal performance.
Question: What is the best way to stay hydrated before practice?
Answer: One of the most important points about hydration and sports is to make sure that your body is adequately hydrated before you even begin to practice. To do this, you should consume 20 ounces, or two large glasses of water or sports drink, two hours prior to exercise and one large glass fifteen minutes before exercise.
A general rule of thumb is to drink 10 ounces, or one large glass of water or sports drink, for every 20 minutes of practice. These requirements increase if you are practicing in very hot conditions or if you sweat a lot. Remember, small paper cups typically available at practices only contain half of your recommended fluid intake. Make sure you drink two or three of these for every 20 minutes of exercise to keep up with your fluid losses.
Equally important is to make sure that you rehydrate after practices, ideally within two hours. This will insure that your fluids are optimized and your body is ready to practice again the next day.