Hydration During Workouts: The Importance
We’ve all heard it before: a person should be able to consume eight glasses of water every day. However, when working out, should an individual’s intake of water be double the amount?
A common enemy of sports enthusiasts is dehydration. A person’s performance during sports or when working out decreases even with just a hint of dehydration. According to Amanda Carlson, a trainer, the loss of just two percent of one’s body weight in fluid can lessen performance by as much as twenty five percent.
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Hydration during workout is imperative not just for athletes but for everyone to get the most out of their exercise regimen. Exercising can lead to the loss of water and not replenishing that can result to feelings of dizziness, lethargy, and cramps.
Water can make it easier for your body to function. Hydrating properly can help lessen the need for the heart to work double time in pumping blood to the body because oxygen and other nutrients can be sent more effectively to the muscles used during exercising.
One problem, though, is that even experienced athletes have difficulty in drinking enough water. It is important to know that hydration should not just be during workouts but before and after it as well.
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It is highly recommended to take a sip of seven to ten ounces of fluid every ten to twenty minutes of exercise to prevent dehydration. For those who work out for longer than an hour a day or for those who are taking on a particularly intense workout regimen, electrolytes may need to be replenished too.
Electrolytes are nutrients or chemicals in the body that facilitate in heartbeat regulation and in allowing muscles to contract for ease of movement. Calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and chloride are the major electrolytes found in the body.
Calcium helps with muscle contractions, nerve signaling, blood clotting, cell division, and in the formation of bones and teeth. Potassium helps keep blood pressure levels stable, regulate heart contractions as well as with muscle functions.
Magnesium is the electrolyte needed for muscle contractions, proper heart rhytms, nerve functioning, bone building and strength, lessening anxiety, digestion, and in keeping a stable protein-fliud balance. Chloride helps maintain fluid balance as well as sodium, which is also needed for muscle contractions and nerve signaling.
The loss of electrolytes during workouts can be remedied by a sports drink or electrolyte enhanced water. It is also important to be cautious of overhydration which can lead to hypoatremia a condition characterized by excess water in the body that dilutes the sodium content in the blood.
Hypoatremia can lead to nausea, headaches, confusion, and fatigue. In severe cases, it can even lead to coma and death.
For those who prefer sports drinks, you should check the label and assess whether a particular drink can give your body the amount of electrolytes it needs during workout. The best amount is fourteen grams of carbohydrates, which should come from glucose, sucrose, and/or fructose, twenty eight milligrams of potassium, and one hundred milligrams of sodium per eight ounce serving.
One day before working out, one should drink extra water and check the color of one’s urine. Ideally, it should be pale yellow since it means that one is properly hydrated.
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On the day of your exercise, you should drink two eight ounce cups of water two hours beforehand. This would give your kidneys enough time to process your liquid intake and give you enough time to empty your bladder before working out.
Before starting your workout, drink another five to ten ounces of water. An ounce of fluid is equal to a medium mouthful of water.
Weigh yourself before and after exercise to determine exactly how much water you should be taking during your workout. Ideally, for every pound lost during activity, one should drink an additional sixteen ounce of fluid.
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Once you have finished your workout, check how many pounds you lost and drink another twenty four ounce of fluid. In case you actually gained weight, you may have overhydrated and should remember to drink less water in the future.