Drinking fluids at regular intervals and eating foods with a high water content (i.e., fresh fruits) are important for maintaining hydration and fluid status during training. See Chapter 2 for more information on fluid balance. Guidelines for drinking fluids during exercise are:
Many beverages can replenish lost fluids, so select a beverage that tastes good, does not cause stomach discomfort, is rapidly absorbed, and contains electrolytes (see Glossary) and CHO (5% to 8%) when performing prolonged or strenuous exercise. Rehydrate with a non-caffeinated, non-carbonated, non-alcoholic beverage.
Although less common than dehydration, untreated overhydration can be life threatening. It is seen when plain water is used to replace fluid losses during prolonged (greater than 3 hours) strenuous exercise. Remember, both water and electrolytes are lost during sweating, so both need to be replaced in this situation. Prevent overhydration by drinking a beverage that contains electrolytes (such as a sport drink) or by eating a light snack (e.g., oranges) with your water. Between exercise sessions, electrolytes lost through sweating can be easily replaced by eating well-balanced meals and snacks (Chapter 3).
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