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Hydration and Nutrition


Ensuring that Soldiers are properly hydrated and receive regular, adequate nutrition is a good way to prevent the onset of heat injuries. Water is the preferred hydration fluid before, during, and after physical training activities. Drink 13 to 20 ounces of cool water at least 30 minutes before beginning exercise (approximately 2 glasses of water). After exercise, drink to satisfy thirst, then drink a little more.

Also avoid alcoholic beverages and soft drinks because they are not suitable for proper hydration and recovery. Sports drinks may be consumed, but are not required and contain a considerable number of additional calories. It is also possible to drink too much water. Be sure to limit intake to NO MORE THAN 1 ½ quarts per hour (48 oz) during heavy exertion. Remember, hydration is also important in the cold environment. Many times loss of water is not as noticeable when it is cool or cold.

Good nutrition practices helps ensure Soldiers have the needed vitamins and minerals for safe performance of exercise in hot environments. Sodium, potassium, and B complex vitamins are lost through sweat and exertion in the heat. It is important to replenish calories lost during exercise with foods containing these nutrients. Try to eat within an hour after exercise. This will assist in recovery as the body is still burning calories at an elevated rate.

George N.