Hydration and Nutrition


Signs & Symptoms of dehydration include noticeable thirst, irritability, fatigue, weakness, nausea, headache, muscle cramping, dizziness or lightheadedness, dark yellow urine or no desire to urinate, difficulty paying attention, and decreased performance.

  • Drink 16 ounces of water 2 hours before the start of exercise.
  • Drink 8-16 ounces of fluid 15 minutes prior to exercise or during warm-up.
  • Drink 4-8 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise. (some athletes who sweat considerably can safely tolerate up to 48 ounces per hour).
  • Drink 16-20 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost 15-30 minutes after exercise.

Extra Tips:

The volume & color of your urine is an excellent way of determining if you’re well hydrated. Small amounts of dark urine means that you need to drink more. Regular amount of light-colored or nearly clear urine generally means you are well-hydrated.

Urine Color Chart


Physical activities of 60 minutes or more may require a sports drink containing 6% to 8% max carbohydrates. Any greater concentration will slow stomach emptying & potentially cause you to feel bloated.

A sodium concentration of .4–1.2 grams per liter will help with fluid retention and distribution and reduce the risk of exertional muscle cramping.


National Federation of State High School Associations Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. Position statement and recommendations for hydration to minimize the risk for dehydration and heat illness. http://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/position-statement-and-recommendations-for-hydration-to-minimize-the-risk-for-dehydration-and-heat-illness/. Published November 21, 2014.

National Federation of State High School Associations Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. Position statement and recommendations for the Use of Energy drinks by Young Athletes. http://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/position-statement-and-recommendations-for-the-use-of-energy-drinks-by-young-athletes/. Published November 21, 2014.

American College of Sports Medicine, Sawka MN, Burke LM, et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exercise and fluid replacement. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007;39(2):377-390.

Casa DJ, Armstrong LE, Hillman SK, et al. National Athletic Trainers’ Association position

statement: Fluid replacement for athletes. Journal of Athletic Training 2000;35:212-224.

Related Links

Selecting and Effectively Using Hydration for Fitness


Pre-Event / Game

Eat meal at least 3 hours before the competition – about 500 – 1000 calories

Chose a meal high in complex carbohydrates

(i.e. breads, cold cereal, pasta, fruits and vegetables)

Include moderate amounts of protein

Limit fats and oils (they take too long to digest!)

Restrict sugar and sweets – energy spikes & plunges

Hydration! hydration! hydration!

Daily Intake

Use low fat dairy products

Avoid highly processed or sweetened foods

Limit fried, butter, and other fats

In small quantities – gravies, sauces and dressing

Better 100% fruits juices – avoid punch and drinks and sodas

Choose balance at every meal – grain, fruit/vegetable, protein

Eat 6 small meals a day – or better yet 3 meals and 3 snacks

Post Event/ Game Recovery

The 1st priority post-exercise is to replace any fluid loss

Important to consume some carbohydrate immediately within 15 minutes after exercise to start restoring glycogen. (i.e. fruits, juices, sports drinks, smoothies etc.)

The post-exercise meal should be consumed within 2 hours of exercise for best glycogen restoration.

Focus the meal on carbohydrates, at least 100 to 200 g, but combine the carbohydrates with a lean protein (i.e. lean meat, chicken, turkey etc)

Consuming protein with carbohydrate post-exercise will help build, maintain, and repair muscle.


American College of Sports Medicine. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Nutrition and athletic performace. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Mar;41(3):709-31.

Related Links

Nutrition Fact Sheet


*The purpose of this website is to provide educational information for athletes, parents and coaches. This material is intended for general educational purposes, and does not take the place of a physician, or serve as substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please consult your health care provider if you have questions about a serious illness or injury.