Guidelines

Before Exercise

  • If you’re well hydrated when you start exercising, you’ll perform better.
  • Consume drinks with sodium and carbohydrates (such as sports drinks) to enhance your water uptake and fluid balance.
  • At least 4 hours before exercise: slow consumption of 5-7 ml of fluid per kilogram of bodyweight (ml/kg BW).1
  • About 2 hours before exercise: if the individual does not produce urine, or the urine is dark, then more fluid should be consumed (eg 3-5 ml/kg BW).
  • Sports drinks such as Powerade ION4 are ideal for prolonged and intense exercise and sports and enhance endurance / physical performance.

During Exercise

How much fluid you need to drink depends on a large number of factors including individual sweat rate, the duration and intensity of the exercise, environmental conditions and the practical opportunities you have to drink.

  • Make sure you drink little and often throughout your exercise session (aim for 150ml every 10-15 minutes).1
  • Consumption of beverages containing sodium and carbohydrates can help sustain both your fluid balance and your endurance / physical performance.

After Exercise

After exercise, you need to replace the fluid and sodium lost through sweat. How well you do this comes down to the volume and type of drink you’re drinking. Water isn’t the ideal post-exercise hydration drink because it doesn’t contain an adequate amount of sodium and no carbohydrates. A refreshing, palatable drink will generally be consumed more readily, thereby further enhancing total fluid intake.

  • Aim to drink 1.5 litres of fluid for each kilogram of bodyweight lost as sweat.1 Drink the fluid over time rather than gulping down a drink in one go.
  • Following exercise, you should replace any fluid and sodium losses that have occurred during exercise.
References
  • 1Sawka MN, Burke LM, Eichner ER, Maughan RJ, Montain SJ, Stachenfeld NS. American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand: Exercise and Fluid Replacement. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007; 39(2): 377-390

This information is not medical advice and should not replace consultation with your health care provider or nutritionist before starting a new exercise program or eating plan.