Most of us know that we need to exercise for a certain amount of time in a day or week. Some of us also know the exact kind of exercise needed — the right mix of cardio, strength training, and yoga perhaps. However, even for the most informed, there’s a blind spot when it comes to working out — staying hydrated. During any kind of exercise, the core temperature of the body rises, resulting in sweating and thereby significant loss of water. This is easy to forget when we’re more focused on the right form or on nailing those one-legged burpees – resulting in dehydration.
Simply put, it’s the state where your body loses more fluid than it takes in. This creates an imbalance which disrupts the usual levels of salts and sugars present in the blood, which can interfere with the way the body functions. Dehydration can be potentially harmful as it affects the lubrication of joints, the digestion processes, as well as toxin clearance. These are just some of the reasons why it’s important to stay hydrated during workouts – take a look at these guidelines for fluid replacement before, during and after your workout. (Source: American College of Sports Medicine)
Dehydration is one of the biggest concerns while working out. You lose a lot of water in the form of sweat and even via the heavy breathing that comes as a part of working out. When the body is dehydrated and is losing water rapidly, it gets tough to get a good workout in. This is because the muscles start losing out on their strength and stamina, you might feel lightheaded and your mental and cognitive abilities might be compromised. Additionally, since the muscles do not have enough water to retain, they will start cramping sooner leading to pains in certain parts of the body.
Getting a decent amount of water consumption during exercise helps your body exercise efficiently. It acts as a lubricant and acts as grease as it loosens up the muscles and helps them function without jerks or breaks. An adequate amount of water also catalyzes several chemical reactions in the body that aid in muscle recovery and healing of certain tissues.
Athletes that are well-hydrated feel a certain sense of stamina and energy in their bodies. They also seem stronger as their muscles can work for a longer period, all through the workout session. Having the right amount of water during exercising plays another important role – it helps the heart transport oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. Since the heart does not have to work harder to pump blood, the overall heart rate is also at a slower pace, which helps elongate the duration of the workout. You will notice yourself being able to perform the same exercises with heightened vigor and strength if you keep the intake of water on the higher side.
It is important to have an accurate estimate of the water intake during workouts. Primarily, the thing to take care of would be to ensure that you are well-hydrated before the workout begins. If you choose to exercise in the evenings, keep the water intake high all throughout the day. You can also use this calculation by a famous nutritionist:
Recognize the needs of your body and increase or decrease the water intake on the basis of how much you sweat. If you are working out outdoors or in the summer season, you might have to up your water levels and replenish your body with more water. If you workout regularly, ensure you record your body weight daily to prevent dehydration.
For Example : if you have lost 2 kgs or so of body water during an intense workout, this water should be replaced before exercising the subsequent day. If you are unable to do the above, it’s best to avoid exercising or at least limit the intensity.
Disclaimer – These are before, during, and post- workout guidelines. It does not factor in the fluid loss that can occur in other activities for which it’s best to keep sipping water throughout the day.
However it’s not always possible to be able to weigh yourself after every exercise and follow these rules precisely. So, here’s a simpler rule for water intake during workouts – just keep sipping on water at regular intervals even if you don’t feel thirsty. This will help prevent sweat-related weight loss. Unless working out in extreme weather conditions, rehydration with water is adequate and sports drinks are not required.
Drink water regularly — whether or not you workout, but especially when you work out. Replenish your body while you work hard, and stay hydrated while you crush those burpees!
Yes, on average, you might be able to drink around one liter of water during workouts if the workout duration is longer. According to the formula, you may drink one glass every 15 minutes, which means 4 glasses (almost a liter) in one hour.