Post exercise fluid and sodium replacement

Training in a hot and humid environment can elicit high sweat rates; and, in some cases substantial sodium loss. Therefore, it’s important to pay special attention to the amount of fluid and electrolytes in the diet, particularly during and after exercise, and match rehydration to your sweat losses. After a workout or race, the goal of rehydration is to replace fluids and electrolytes.

The following recommendations can help athletes to be better prepared for the challenges posed by the heat:

•Drink 20-24 oz of fluid per pound lost during training. A recovery drink that contains sodium works best (note: coconut water does not contain enough sodium) or eat some salty foods along with the fluid.

•A post workout meal consumed within an hour of completion will often do the trick in terms of replacing sodium.

•Higher amounts of sodium should be targeted when there is little recovery time between training sessions or races. In this case, choose a recovery drink that contains sodium and add extra salt to your subsequent meals (for reference: a ¼ tsp salt contains ~500 mg sodium, and salt packets ~ 200mg sodium). Continue to hydrate with water and/or electrolyte beverages until you reach normal hydration status.

PMID: 33553508, 17277604, 30056755

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