Back to Top Skip to main content

Water and sports drinks, what to drink, how much and when

Staff Sgt. Shaun Martin, a combat medic assigned to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital's LaPointe Army Medical Home on Fort Campbell, drinks from a 16-ounce bottle of water to maintain his hydration for optimal performance. On average, the Army recommends men should consume about 100 ounces of fluid (3 liters) each day, and women should aim for about 70 ounces (2 liters) for baseline hydration. In hot and humid environments and during physical activity, more is needed to maintain hydration — about one ounce per pound of body weight. To reach your goal, drink regularly and frequently, even if you are not thirsty to avoid dehydration. Water is usually the best choice over coffee, soda, energy drinks and alcohol because those beverages can pull water from the body and promote dehydration. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Yager) Army Staff Sgt. Shaun Martin, a combat medic assigned to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital's LaPointe Army Medical Home on Fort Campbell, drinks from a 16-ounce bottle of water to maintain his hydration for optimal performance. On average, the Army recommends men should consume about 100 ounces of fluid (3 liters) each day, and women should aim for about 70 ounces (2 liters) for baseline hydration. In hot and humid environments and during physical activity, more is needed to maintain hydration — about one ounce per pound of body weight. To reach your goal, drink regularly and frequently, even if you are not thirsty to avoid dehydration. Water is usually the best choice over coffee, soda, energy drinks and alcohol because those beverages can pull water from the body and promote dehydration. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Yager)

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — If physical activity in the summertime has you feeling hot, sweaty, and thirsty, it’s only natural to reach for an ice cold drink to quench your body’s thirst, but not all beverages are created equal when it comes to rehydration. Certain beverages can cause more harm than good when it comes to hydration.

“Army-wide, heat injuries are on the rise with the highest rates in Soldiers less than 25 years old,” said Army Capt. Erica Jarmer, a registered dietitian at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital. Jarmer recently hosted training for hospital staff and Fort Campbell tenant units regarding proper hydration for Soldiers and athletes. Dietitians and medics have a critical role in teaching health related Army skills, to include tactical hydration.

“Overall, I enjoyed the class. Many Soldiers are so under educated when it comes to taking care of themselves. We are required to ask a lot physically of our bodies but we don't always get the education needed to perform at our peak levels. I hope there are many more classes like this offered to Soldiers,” said Master Sgt. Jennifer Alvey, non-commissioned officer in charge of BACH’s Department of Primary Care and a line medic, who participated in the training.

“Hydration for tomorrow occurs today. Hydration for today occurred yesterday,” said Jarmer. “Often times we’re playing catch up. If Soldiers and athletes understand their baseline hydration needs and routinely maintain their hydration status, our need for reactive rehydration will decrease.”

Baseline fluid needs are based on body weight, half an ounce of fluid per pound is adequate for most individuals. This equates to about three liters of fluid per day for men and about two liters per day for women.

Once baseline hydration is established, adjustments can be made for environmental factors and physical activity. In hot, humid environments, at high altitude, and with physical activity, more fluid is required to maintain hydration. A quick estimate for these conditions would be one ounce per pound of body weight.

Soldiers should hydrate regularly and frequently, even when they are not thirsty in order to avoid dehydration. Water is usually the better choice over caffeinated or sugary beverages, which include, but are not limited to soda, energy drinks, coffee, beer and alcohol, fruit juices, sweet tea, and lemonade. Those beverages can pull water from the body and promote dehydration.

“Activities that result in significant sweat losses may require a properly formulated sports drink during and after activity,” said Jarmer. “A sports drink can provide energy and maintain hydration by replenishing electrolytes lost in sweat. However, no sports drink is going to be a substitute for baseline hydration.”

One method to analyze hydration status is to monitor urine color. “Urine should be light yellow; dark yellow or brown urine is indicative of dehydration. Clear urine is a sign that we are not consuming adequate electrolytes to maintain our fluid status,” said Jarmer.

Dehydration can very quickly result in reduced cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and mental function.

“Performance suffers from even small amounts of dehydration,” said Jarmer. “Proper hydration is key. Soldiers must be educated on how to meet their baseline hydration needs and how to appropriately account for activity and environmental factors.”

Jarmer’s training included educating medical personnel on appropriate use of sports drinks to prevent dehydration as well as methods to treat Soldiers and athletes experiencing heat injuries.

You also may be interested in...

2019 TRICARE Winter Safety Kit

Infographic
1/22/2019
TRICARE Winter Safety Kit 2019

This infographic provides tips and information about staying safe and warm during a snow storm.

Recommended Content:

Winter Safety | Health Readiness | Preventive Health

TRICARE Preventive Services

Video
1/14/2019
TRICARE Preventive Services

Watch this video to learn more about all the preventive services your TRICARE benefit covers.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Preventive Health

'Fused' technologies give 3D view of prostate during biopsy

Article
1/9/2019
Eisenhower Army Medical Center graphic

Other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men

Recommended Content:

Men's Health | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Preventive Health

Women’s Health: Taking time for yourself

Article
10/16/2018
Navy Lt. Jessica Miller, a nurse at Naval Hospital Jacksonville’s Obstetrics/Gynecology Clinic, discusses cervical cancer screenings with a patient. Starting at age 21, women should get a Pap test every three years. After turning 30, women have a choice. Get a Pap test every three years, or get a Pap and human papillomavirus (HPV) test every five years. Women should talk with their doctor about options. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

The top two causes of death for women are heart disease and cancer

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Women's Health

Mammograms recommended for early detection of breast cancer

Article
10/4/2018
Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman Naomi Perez, a certified mammogram technician, conducts a mammogram for a patient at Naval Hospital Pensacola. A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray procedure used to detect the early stages of breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and NHP is taking the opportunity to educate patients about the dangers of breast cancer and the importance of getting checked. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brannon Deugan)

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray used to detect the early stages of breast cancer

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Women's Health

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month: Empowering patients

Article
9/28/2018
During September, the Military Health System is encouraging men to learn more about prostate cancer. Patients can discuss with their providers the risks and benefits of a prostate-specific antigen blood test, also known as a PSA test. (U.S. Navy photo by Jacob Sippel)

For September’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, the Military Health System is encouraging men to learn more about the disease

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health

Swimming for good health: Just go with the flow

Article
9/6/2018
A midshipman participates in the 500-yard swim portion of a physical screening test as part of the explosive ordnance disposal summer cruise at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Jeff Atherton)

Aquatic exercise is a low-impact alternative to running

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Physical Activity

Reduce your risk of running and sports injuries

Article
8/20/2018
More than 80 percent of recruit injuries occur to lower body. (Image courtesy Army Public Health Center)

Running is the number one cause of Soldier injuries

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Battlespace acoustics branch protects hearing, human performance

Article
8/17/2018
Dr. Eric Thompson, a research engineer with the Warfighter Interface Division, Battlespace Acoustics Branch, part of the 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, sits inside their Auditory Localization Facility. The facility allows researchers to test 3-D audio software that spatially separates sound cues to mimic real-life human audio capabilities. The application allows operators in complex communication environments with multiple talking voices to significantly improve voice intelligibility and communication effectiveness. The technology, which consists primarily of software and stereo headphones, has potential low-cost, high-value application for both aviation and ground command and control communication systems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Richard Eldridge)

We look at how noise is being generated, how it propagates, and what that means for Airmen in the field

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Hearing Loss

Getting off tobacco road leads to renewed relief

Article
8/10/2018
Stopping smoking can be difficult, but healthy living is a daily effort. Take command of your health today. (U.S. Army graphic by Karin Martinez)

One service member’s struggle to become smoke-free

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Mental Wellness | Tobacco-Free Living

Three ways to protect your health through preventive care

Article
8/9/2018
Being active lowers your risk of developing chronic conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

Preventive services include vaccines, exams, and screenings

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Environmental health works behind the scenes to keep Soldiers ready

Article
7/9/2018
Army Spc. Johnathan Vargas from Environmental Health at Kenner Army Health Clinic conducts a water test using a LaMontte water quality kit at the Fort Lee dining facility while conducting an inspection recently. (U.S. Army photo by Lesley Atkinson)

On the team are a mix of military and civilian employees who conduct inspections, food safety training, water sampling and entomology services

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health

Sports drinks: What are you really putting in your body?

Article
6/27/2018
Generally our bodies are comprised of approximately 60 to 70 percent water. We need water for digestion, energy and oxygen transport, and temperature regulation. Senior Airman Johanna Magner, 22nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, drinks water on the flightline in front of a KC-135 Stratotanker. With rising temperatures during the summer months people are encouraged to drink more water to stay hydrated. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jenna K. Caldwell)

In general, sports drinks are typically a calculated blend of carbohydrates, electrolytes and water

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Summer Safety

Five tips to improve men's health

Article
6/12/2018
Take Command of your health

Taking preventive steps and making changes to your lifestyle can improve your health

Recommended Content:

Preventive Health | Men's Health

Breaking down anxiety one fear at a time

Article
6/5/2018
Marine Staff Sgt. Andrew Gales participates in ‘battlefield’ acupuncture, also known as ‘ear acupuncture,’ at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as a treatment for anxiety related to PTSD. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin Cunningham)

Generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and anxiety related to PTSD are common disorders. In fact, an estimated 31 percent of U.S. adults experience anxiety at some point in their lives; one marine discusses his journey.

Recommended Content:

Mental Health Care | Preventive Health | Men's Health | Mental Wellness | Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 5

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing | Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.