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To drink or not to drink... that is the question: A short look at Hydration and Exercise

Gatorade, Powerade, MiO Sport, the list goes on and on! Oh yes what about just good old water?

From Lebron James cramping up during the NBA playoffs last week to the World Cup held in Brazil hydration will be in the news this summer to say the least. But what should I drink, how much should I drink? And are sports drinkings really needed? These and a few other tips will be explained below.

Why is proper hydration important?

Whether you are a serious athlete or recreational exerciser, it’s important to make sure you get the right amount of fluids before, during and after exercising. Water regulates your body temperature, lubricates joints and helps transport nutrients. If you’re not properly hydrated, your body will be unable to perform at its highest level, and you may experience fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness or more serious symptoms (heat exhaustrion, heat stroke, etc).

Signs of Dehydration:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Muscle cramps

  • Dry mouth

  • Sweating stops

  • Heart palpitation

The American Council on Fitness had recommanded the following basci water intake guidleines for people doing moderate-to-high intensity exercise:

  • Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising

  • Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during your warm-up

  • Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise

  • Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise

What about sports drinks?

While you are exercising, water is the best drink for most people, most of the time. However, if you are exercising at a high intensity for more than an hour, you may want to chose a sports drink. The calories, potassium and other nutrients in sports drinks can help provide energy and electrolytes to help you perform for a longer period of time.

Written By:

Dr. Michael J Korczynski (Chiropractor)

Kingston Chiropractic and Rehabilitation



2) Family Doctor.Org (2014). Athletes the importance of good hydration.

3) SportMedBC (2013).

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