Apr 23

Re-hydrate – Refuel – Recover – Post-Training Recovery Part III

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Athletes should be knowledgeable about the warning signs of dehydration.


Here are some tips:

  • The color and amount of the urine is the easy way to monitor dehydration.
    • Clear colored urine and good volume is an indication of being well hydrated
    • Dark urine color and minimal volume indicates severe dehydration.
    • However, vitamin intake can cause darker urine color; therefore, the urine volume is the better indicator of hydration in this case.


Water Intake versus Sport Drinks

There are constant debates about the choice of fluid intake and the importance or role of water as a choice versus established Sport drinks.

  • Water is still the best fluid to drink for quick and efficient hydration versus Sport drinks. Whereas water is obviously the cheapest fluid replacement it has been found that by itself it is not the necessarily the best replacement during strenuous activities. Many athletes stop drinking too soon because of its ‘bland’ taste. Water intake may also result in a ‘bloated’ feeling, which can shut down the sensation of thirst. According to research, more fluid is taken in when the beverage contains some flavoring or some sodium. On the other hand, drinking too much water can lead to a serious medical condition – hyponatremia – an electrolyte disturbance in which the sodium concentration in the serum is lower than normal.
  • Training lasting less than 1-hour, drinking water is adequate unless the environment is very hot and humid.
  • Protein Sport Nutrition drinks should be consumed if the training session lasts more than 60 minutes without interruption.
  • Calories content in certain sports drinks and other fluids (soda, juice) can increase the time for fluid entry into the blood stream to replace fluid loss due to sweating.


Recognized and Established Sports Drinks

These types of Sports Drinks are identified as Gatorade™, Powerade™, eLoad™, and Accelerade™ and include carbohydrate, electrolytes and fluids. They consist ideally of 6-8% carbohydrate (6-8 grams of carbohydrate for every 100 ml of beverage), 500-700 mg of sodium per litre, 80-200 mg of potassium per litre. They serve to replace energy
(carbohydrates), electrolytes (sodium, potassium), and fluids lost as a result of exercise or training (Coaches Association of Canada, 2011; American College of Sports Medicine, 2007). Low calorie electrolyte drinks such as G2™ and Nuun™ can be artificially sweetened with the purpose to provide fluids and electrolytes only. These drinks are used when carbohydrates are not needed but electrolytes have to be replenished when fluid is lost due to sweat (refer to previous notes on climate and heavy sweating). They do not enhance performance since they do not contain carbohydrates. Drinks consisting of water enhanced with vitamins, for example, Aquafina Plus TM and Vitamin Water TM, are identified as those whereby vitamins and possible carbohydrates are added. They are usually promoted as ‘healthy’ type of water but are not a replacement for a healthy diet! In fact, it could result in a consumption of too many random vitamins, and they may be too high in sugar for use during exercise.


  1. geoff

    solid tips. its funny but hydration is neglected by so many people. paying attention to my has saved me a lot of headaches. thanks for this!

    1. coach

      I am glad you incorporated that. I find that many coaches emphasize correct daily nutrition, and intake before competition or games but less importance is given to post training/post competition/games nutrition and hydration. The issue is that this has to happen immediately after the Cool-down (at last 20 minutes after) and then a solid meal 2 hrs after has to be consumed. Otherwise, the body will not be able to recouperate – injuries and lack of concentration at=re the results. We have one big problem because many training sessions (at leat at the Amateur level) end late at night (8-9PM), which makes the process of proper nutrition difficult.
      My DVD Ballet for Athletes is now available. The dual DVD, includes an Interactive PDF book, has an extensive Chapters on Warm-up/cool-down and Post Training Nutrition. See the Website http://www.coachingbest.com and click on Kalos.ca to view the DVD selection
      coach Monika

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