Whether you are a serious athlete or are simply exercising for recreational purposes, it is critical to stay hydrated. Ideal hydration means drinking enough water before, during, and after a workout session. Not only does water regulate your body temperature and lubricate your joints, but also it helps you transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. Without hydration, your body cannot perform at its peak level. Without proper hydration, you can experience muscle cramps, dizziness, or other serious health symptoms.
There are no exact rules for how much water to drink while exercising because every person is so unique. Some factors that must be considered are your sweat rate, the heat and humidity where you are working out, and how long/hard you are exercising. According to The American Council on Exercising, the basic guidelines for hydration before, during, and after are:
Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you begin exercising.
Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during your actual warm up.
Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes of exercising.
Drink 8 ounces within a half hour of finishing your workout.
In order to prevent dehydration, it is important to know what the symptoms are before and serious heath implications take place. Some of the signs of dehydration are:
Lack of Sweating
Hard and Fast Heartbeat
If you experience any of these symptoms it is extremely important to seek out medical attention so that the chances of negative health problems can be decreased.
For most people, water is all you need to be efficiently hydrated. However, if you will be exercising at a high intensity or for longer than an hour, a sports drink could come in handy. The potassium and other calories that are found in sports drinks can provide you with additional energy and electrolytes that will help you perform for a much longer time. Choosing the right sports drink for a workout can be difficult, so be sure to check the nutrition facts to make sure that you are consuming a drink that is not a diuretic. Diuretics are known to decrease the amount of water in your body, so it is important to hydrate with water at the same time.
In order to maximize the positive benefits that come with your workout, it is important to get the most out of hydration. In addition, it is important to strategically plan how much you will drink depending on how intense your workout will be. At Relentless Fitness, we understand that it is important to have more intense workouts paired with easier workouts, so it is important to pay attention to your schedule so that you know what days you need to hydrate extra.