Training and Nutrition - By Melissa Buczek Kelly, MS RD CDN

posted on: Aug. 21, 2013, 10:18 a.m. | tags: NCAA Web Star Recruits Training Nutrition Athletics Sports Dehydration

With the summer temperatures and intensive practices cramping up your performance, here are some strategies to help you stay hydrated both on and off the field:

Listen to your body by eating and drinking accordingly throughout the day. Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it. And be sure to include fluids with meals, and in between.

Drink between 8 and 20 oz of water or a sports drink about 1 hour before exercise and continue drinking during exercise. Aim for up to 16 to 24 oz of fluid per hour (or 4-6 oz every 15 minutes).

Track your sweat loss by weighing yourself before and after you exercise. Drink 16-24 oz of fluid for every pound lost through sweat.

Use water as your fluid of choice if you are exercising for under 1 hour. Choose a sports drink, such as Gatorade, to replace both fluid and electrolytes lost in your sweat if you are on the field or exercising for over an hour. Also, consider a sports drink if you are a "salty" sweater, meaning you notice a white residue on the skin or your clothes (which indicates a sodium loss). Also, including some salty foods in your pre-exercise meal can help the high sodium loss.