Hydration and Recovery: A process all athletes should know

Hydration and Recovery was the topic of discussion for the April 18 sports performance nutrition seminar. This seminar focused on educating attendees about the importance of proper hydration and recovery after a workout or performance.

“Our main target is athletes and the importance of maintaining hydration, especially during the hot summer months to get through workouts and practices better,” senior human and health performance major and seminar speaker Curt Minter said.

Each week the sports performance nutrition seminars cover a different topic that can help athletes to improve their performances.

“I learned that I probably do not drink enough water,” freshman biology major Maddy Meeker said.

Minter asked the 19 audience members to split themselves into two teams. The teams worked together to discuss and fill up the number of cups of water they felt an individual should drink per day. The two teams fell within the range with their guesses of 18 cups and 16 cups of water per day.

“I feel that this is important to learn because if we don’t stay hydrated, then we are not healthy,” freshman mechanical engineer Kenzie Bradley said.

Water is an essential part of our lives and can be beneficial to us in many ways. It helps to regulate our body temperature, aid in chemical reactions and maintain PH balance.

“Athletes need to keep in mind that they have certain limits,” Minter said. “You can push those limits, but you kind of need to know your boundaries.”

Hydration needs vary depending upon what stage in the workout process the athlete is. The pre-exercise phase requires generous amounts of water 24 hours prior to the workout and does change as exercising gets closer, for example; 10-20 minutes before a workout, 7-10 ounces of water is recommended. During this phase water, 100 percent juice and milk are recommended, while coffee or tea can be used as a boost at the beginning of a workout. At this time, sports drinks and soda should be avoided.

During exercise, carbohydrates and electrolytes are lost and can be replaced by sports drinks and foods that contain carbohydrates.

“I learned that hydration is good for the body when exercising,” Bradley said.

During the post exercise phase, large quantities of water should be avoided. This is because the sodium concentration in the body is diluted and extra water that is consumed goes to waste. Vegetable juices, milk, soups and sports drinks are recommended during this stage.

The final phase is the recovery process. Protein is important during this stage, as it is

critical for the muscles in the body to recover from the exercise.

The seminar series continues April 25 at 7 p.m. in room B52 of the Williams Fieldhouse with information about supplements and supplementation.