Objective: To present recommendations to optimize the fluid-replacement practices of athletes.
Background: Dehydration can compromise athletic performance and increase the risk of exertional heat injury. Athletes do not voluntarily drink sufficient water to prevent dehydration during physical activity. Drinking behavior can be modified by education, increasing accessibility, and optimizing palatability. However, excessive overdrinking should be avoided because it can also compromise physical performance and health. We provide practical recommendations regarding fluid replacement for athletes.
Recommendations: Educate athletes regarding the risks of dehydration and overhydration on health and physical performance. Work with individual athletes to develop fluid-replacement practices that optimize hydration status before, during, and after competition.