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Drinking enough fluids is one of the most overlooked requirements of physical health. By the time your mouth is dry and you're thirsty, it's too late--you're already dehydrated! To help ensure the proper state of hydration, it's recommended that you drink at least 16 oz of fluid before sleeping on the evening before exercise and another 16 oz first thing in the morning. To help "top off" fluid stores, drink another 16-32 oz one hour before competing.
The type of fluid you consume before exercise is important. Make sure you drink fluids containing small amounts of sodium, such as water or sports drinks, and avoid soft drinks or fluids that are high in sugar. The sodium in these drinks will cut down on fluid loss and better maintain hydration.
For optimal rehydration, you should drink a carbohydrate/electrolyte drink as soon as possible after training or competing. The carbohydrates and sodium in these drinks provide flavoring that helps to stimulate consumption. The result is better hydration, which will positively affect your performance in your training session or competition.