During the summer, athletes should remember that hydration does not come strictly from water. Low-fat milk is 90 percent water, coffee is 99.5 percent water, oatmeal is 84 percent water, and lettuce is 96 percent water. The body loses water every day through the urine, lungs, intestines and skin.
Water is vital for all biochemical reactions, and athletes can die from dehydration. Consuming liquids and foods that contain high amounts of water helps to boost hydration levels during the hot summer months.
Athletes with disabilities may be more prone to the effects of dehydration. When athletes have mobility restrictions, a coach or caregiver should provide fluids. As a general rule, athletes should consume fluids before, during and after participating in a sport or sporting event. Experts recommend consuming 14 to 22 ounces of fluid before an activity,and 6 to 12 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during and after an activity, to replenish fluids that are lost.
One way to get more fluids in the summer months is by consuming fresh fruit such as apples, oranges, blueberries and bananas. Keep sliced and fruit chunks readily available in the refrigerator or in a take-along bag or make a fresh fruit salad.