How Important Is Hydration During Your Workout?
Whether you’re a casual or dedicated fitness enthusiast, hydration should be your top priority. Adequate hydration means you’re supplying the body with the proper amount of water prior, during, and post-exercise. This fluid will help lubricate your joints and regulate your body temperature. But, there’s more to hydration than it meets the eye.
The problem is, almost 80% of working Americans say they don’t drink enough water. They either don’t want to pay for it, or they just don’t have enough time. Based on a national survey of over 1,000 Americans, people just didn’t feel thirsty enough to want to drink water. They would rather consume tastier beverages that are packed with sugar.
In reality, everyone knows how important water is for overall health. But, what does it have to do with exercise? How does it affect your physical performance while you’re active? Here, we’ll answer all your questions. This is why hydration is crucial when exercising.
The Importance of Staying Hydrated When Exercising
When you’re physically active, the body sweats. This is a normal part of perspiration. The system produces fluids, which are then secreted by the sweat glands in the skin. This is to help the body regain its optimal temperature.
The moment sweat evaporates, it gets rid of the heat, but the body also loses fluid. Therefore, you must drink to replenish the fluids you just lost. Water is the best drink. Water can help you decrease the possibility of heat stress, maintain your performance level and bodily functions.
Plus, water is a completely natural drink. It doesn’t contain any sugar, additives, or calories, which is beneficial for adequate fluid replacement. According to the CDC, water is a perfect substitute for soft drinks, like soda.
It can prevent dehydration and overheating. Sports drinks can also keep you hydrated. But, they can be packed with sugar. So, you will have to watch the intake.
The Benefits of Being Hydrated
Our body is made up of about 60% water. Drinking water helps maintain normal bodily functions and keeps the system in tip-top shape. Still not convinced? Take a look at the benefits of drinking water supported by science.
1. Maximises Your Athletic Performance
Without hydration, physical performance steadily decreases. This is vital when doing intense exercises. When you lose just 2% of the water content in your system, dehydration can cause a noticeable effect. But, it’s not uncommon for athletes to lose from 6% to 10% of their water weight just from sweating, studies show.
This could change how the body controls temperature, decreases motivation, and increase exhaustion. Because of dehydration, any exercise can feel mentally and physically draining. Adequate hydration can stop this from happening. It can even decrease oxidative stress.
According to research, athletes who do high-intensity exercises can drink water to lessen oxidative stress and prolong endurance. This can help them maximize their effort and make the most of their exercises.
2. Drastically Affects Brain Function and Energy Level
Hydration plays a key role in brain function. The fewer fluids you drink, the bigger the impact on your brain. In fact, losing just 1% to 3% of body weight can get in the way of normal brain function. Experts found that 1.4% fluid loss post-exercise affected both concentration and mood in female volunteers. It also amplified the frequency of headaches.
3. Relieves Constipation
Around 16 in 100 adults experience constipation. Whereas 33 in 100 adults over the age of 60 struggle with this exact problem. According to experts, people who don’t drink enough water often have constipation.
Increasing fluid intake can lessen constipation. Mineral water seems to be particularly effective. Since it’s packed with sodium and magnesium, it can help boost bowel movement, consistency, and frequency.
When you have enough water in the system, it becomes a lot easier to flush out body waste. This is done in the form of feces or urine. With an effect such as this, you have exactly what you need to get your stomach back on track.
4. Aids With Shedding the Excess Pounds
For people who work out, getting that slim body is always the end-goal. That’s where hydration comes into play. Drinking water increases your metabolic rate and satiety. With sufficient hydration, you can restore your metabolism and burn calories on a day-to-day basis.
5. Lubricates the Joints
The cartilage is made up of about 80% water. Exposing the body to prolonged dehydration can weaken the joints and make it more difficult for them to absorb the shock. In the long-run, this could lead to joint pain. Hydration, on the other hand, prevents that from happening and keeps the joints healthy.
When to Draw the Line?
There is no rule as to how much water or fluid you should be drinking when exercising. Since everybody is different, so is their need for fluid intake. With that in mind, experts suggest that you follow the primary guidelines:
- Before exercising: Consume about 17-20 ounces of water, 2-3 hours prior to any physical activity.
- During exercising (or warmup): Consume 7-10 ounces of water, 10-20 min while you exercise.
- After exercising: Consume 8 ounces of water, 30 min post-workout.
To get a more specific guideline, athletes can measure their fluid intake when exercising. Experts recommend 16-24 ounces of water for each pound of body weight lost. Those who do more rigorous training will need more water to rehydrate their system.
Hydration will affect the system both physically and mentally. Regardless of the type of exercise you do, you still need to be hydrated. Water is the healthiest and most efficient option for replenishing the fluids in your system. It can keep the body healthy and all the organs functioning properly. Dehydration, however, can have the exact opposite effect. It can be mentally and physically draining, which will have a direct impact on your physical performance. Now that you know the real value of hydration during exercise, you will be more inspired to take a bottle of water with you on your next trip to the gym.