Staying hydrated in the hydro

13 June 2018

It's important to stay hydrated while swimming, just as with any other physical activity. Drinking water before, during and after your swim can prevent dehydration and keep you at peak performance level. However, you should not drink the water from your swimming pool. Bring your own water with you to the pool and sip throughout your swim to stay hydrated. It may seem ironic, but it is easy to become dehydrated while swimming.

You might be surrounded by water, but your body is still giving off sweat. In fact, it can only take 30 minutes to become dehydrated in the pool; the warm air and water temperature together with the high humidity can sap you of moisture quickly. If you become dehydrated, your performance will suffer no matter how athletic and skilled you may be.

Enter the pool hydrated from the start. Drink a few cups of water several hours prior to your swim, and another cup 30 minutes before you start. Throughout your swim, replenish lost water by drinking a cup every 15 minutes or so. Within 30 minutes after you leave the pool, drink another cup of water. You should drink before you begin to feel thirsty; by that time, you are probably already dehydrated.

In most cases, water is the best choice to replenish lost fluids. Sports drinks contain added sugar and calories, making them less healthy. However, if you swim at a high intensity level for 45 to 60 minutes or longer, sip on a sports drink instead. Sports drinks contain electrolytes that water does not. If you drink too much plain water, you run the risk of hyponatremia, which is a dangerous sodium imbalance.

Drinking sports drinks, as well as eating enough sodium in your diet, can help prevent this condition. If you lose a lot of salt with your sweat, you should also opt for a sports drink. You can tell if you have salty sweat by checking your clothes; you will see white stains where you perspire.

For more information about safe swimming in winter, please click below.

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