We all know the importance of exercise and many of us even know exactly what type of exercise is required. Despite this, even the most informed exercisers tend to overlook an important part of exercising- staying hydrated.
Whenever we exercise, our bodies experience an increase in temperature which causes sweating and significant water loss. When our focus is primarily on perfecting forms or crushing those one-legged burpees, we often forget to stay hydrated.
You feel dehydrated by losing more fluid than you take in.
In addition to disrupting the normal sodium and sugar levels in the blood, this imbalance negatively impacts the function of the body. When you're dehydrated, you're less likely to be able to lubricate your joints, digest your food, and get rid of toxic substances.
There are many reasons why it's important to stay hydrated during workouts - make sure you follow these guidelines for rehydrating beforehand, during, and after the exercise session.
Here are some basic guidelines on fluid intake
Take in about 5 to 7 ml/kg of body weight before exercising. For a 70 kg person, 350 to 500 ml of water is optimal. Consuming salty or sodium-containing drinks may help you retain fluids. You shouldn't worry about this unless doing an intense sport such as running a marathon.
As you exercise, monitor the changes in your body weight. Take in sodium, potassium, and carbs when exercising. Fluid replacement can vary according to one's sweating rate, the ambient temperature, humidity and duration of the exercise.
Hydration can be restored by eating & drinking normally. If you sweat excessively and lose more than 2% of your body weight; make sure to drink 1.5 litres per kg of body weight (particularly applicable in extreme weather conditions). We are mainly concerned with restoring fluid and electrolyte deficiencies here.
Please note: The following guidelines are for before, during, and after exercise only.
It does not take into account fluid loss during other activities, for which water is best sipped throughout the day.
To prevent dehydration, keep track of your body weight every day if you exercise regularly. It is recommended to replace lost water within 24 hours of an intense workout. Avoid exercise or at least limit its intensity if you are unable to do the above.
Considering the guidelines- it is unlikely that you will be able to follow these rules exactly after every exercise.
Here's a simple rule to keep hydrated during workouts: be sure to sip water regularly, even when you don't feel thirsty. In this way, sweat-induced weight loss can be prevented. As long as you're not exercising in extreme weather conditions, rehydrating with water will suffice, so you won't need sports drinks.
Maintain a regular level of water intake, whether you work out or not. Don't forget to refill your body as you work hard, and keep your hydration levels high while you're battling those burpees!