Daily hydration needs are very individual and change with the weather. Here are 3 ways to know if you are hydrated or not. Just using 1 way of checking hydration will easily be inaccurate. It is best to use a combination of all 3 if possible.
- You have pale yellow urine
- Your weight is stable over the day
- Your urine specific gravity is elevated
WHERE TO START?
Start by drinking sips of water all throughout the day, with a minimum of 3 to 4 of the 500ml size water bottles (1750 – 2000ml) consumed in addition to what is consumed during and after a game or practice (refer to the dehydration rate guide for game-time and recovery hydration targets). You can add herbal tisanes, citrus flavours, fresh mint, or even cucumber to your water to encourage you to drink it.
Extra beverages like milk, soup, and juice all contribute to your hydration during the day as well, but they should not be relied upon as your source of hydration.
2 to 3 cups of coffee or caffeinated tea can replace water if consumed in these small amounts. BUT be careful not to rely on these to stay hydrated as some people experience a diuretic effect when a lot of these beverages are consumed.
What is 1 cup?
An EXTRA-SMALL Tim Hortons’ coffee = 1 CUP
HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR SWEAT RATE
How much you sweat in a game should dictate how much you should aim to drink (1) on the bench between shifts, (2) in the locker room between periods, and (3) in the 4 to 6 hours after the game. Do a weight test. Here is how:
Once you know your weight loss during a game you can calculate you sweat rate. You will need to know how much liquid you took in. Here is a simplified sweat rate equation.
SWEAT RATE = WEIGHT LOSS + LIQUIDS CONSUMED
If you need help with your sweat rate calculations or if you would like your urine specific gravity measured book a coaching session.
Your sweat rate can be used to help guide your fluid consumption during competition and training so you do not under or over-hydrate. It's normal to lose weight during training or competition and the amount you lose x 1.5 is how much you should aim to drink in the hours after. For example, if you lost 500ml (1 pound) of water weight then aim to drink 750ml.