Hydration Series - Hydration Cheat Sheet

We love to make things easier for our athletes and clients through education and resources, but we also love to make sure it’s individualized  too.


With that in mind, we tried to put together a steps and a cheat sheet for you to plan out your hydration strategies and show you the steps involved.


Before reading further, make sure you use these tools to figure out your sweat rate and hydration needs:



Once you have these all set, figure out what your sport, competition or training looks like:


Are you a high intensity athlete for short distances and times?


Think your strength sport athletes (powerlifting, strongman, Olympic Weightlifting) or your powerful output then rest athletes (baseball, softball, etc).


Are you a hybrid athlete with tons of repeated high power outputs?


Think about explosive athletes over a couple hours of a game (football, basketball, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball).


Are you a steady state endurance athlete who has low to moderate output for long periods?


These are your cyclists, runners, swimmers or tactical athletes during selection periods, who go for hours during training and events.


Then look below and figure out how long your training or competition takes, what you should drink and how much of it!


Hydration - Cheat sheet


Training / Game / Event

What to Drink

How Much Per Hour

<1 Hours

Plain water (assuming you were hydrated going into it)

1-1.5L / hour

32-48oz / hour

(1 – 1.5 Nalgene sized bottle)

1-2 Hours




1-1.5L / hour water (32-48oz)


400-650mg sodium/L (32oz)


2+ Hours

OR Salty sweaters

OR Hot weather

OR Very High Intensity Training/Competition




1-1.5L/Hour water (32-48oz)


650-1100mg sodium/L (32oz)




How do I add the sodium?


Like we talked about in our article Sodium & Optimal Performance, it is imperative to have the correct balance and use of sodium. For some shorter duration athletes, as you can see on the table, just hydrating with water and dietary salt will be enough.


For some of the longer duration events and athletes, they’ll need to consume products with sodium in it. So how do they do this?


Some people will lean on sports drinks for energy. If you reference the table, you can see that people competing 1-2 hours and need approximately 400-650mg of sodium, this can be a good option.


Most of the major products available (Gatorade and Powerade here in America) have approximately that amount in a 32oz (1 Liter) bottle. Remember that they also provide some carbohydrates too, as they goal of these isotonic drinks is to be the supply both energy and hydration at the same time, the tonicity should be about equal with our blood volume too.


Sports Drink example:

Powerade Zero – 510mg Sodium / 1L (32oz)

Gatorade Thirst Quencher – 440mg / 1 L (32oz) – but this also comes with 55g of sugar, so for the calorie conscious it may not be the best option


Homemade hydration drinks are also a great way to get around the issue of low sodium and make sure you can reduce sugar while saving money. The recipe yields 32oz of drink and gives approximately 1,000mg of sodium:



1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut water

2 cups cold water


Optional: if you’re used to Gatorade or other products, we recommend a sweetener (stevia for lower calorie, honey or sugar to taste for high calorie needs). Depending on how much you need, you can also add more salt.


Directions: All ingredients should be added to a pitcher or bowl and whisked.


There are also Hypotonic powders, tablets and other products you can add to your drink. These are higher in sodium and able to be absorbed faster due to its lower volume than our blood stream. The only con is that it has minimal energy to help with fueling needs of the athlete. 


Powder Examples:

Tailwind – 2 scoops added to 32oz of water – 661mg of sodium

Drip Drop – 2 single serve stick – 660mg of sodium


These products are also great for hot environments or salty sweaters to add to their water sources during competitions where they are going to be going for 1-2 hours. This will allow them to hit both their fluid and sodium needs. The big recommendation here is to make sure you are also fueling for energy needs, so bars, gu's, gels, etc should be used to contribute calories. 


Wrapping it all up

This is a great way to figure out your basic needs and how to meet them for your training, sport or event, but we definitely recommend you speak with one of our dietitians or coaches to make sure you are getting what you need.

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