Hydration During Workouts: The Importance
It’s common knowledge that a person should drink about eight glasses of water each day. However, should this amount be doubled when working out?
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 important not just for professional athletes but for individuals who want to get the most out of their exercise. 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.
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 affect major functions such as heartbeat regulation and muscle contraction for ease of movement. Major electrolytes found in the body are calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and chloride.
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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 necessary for muscle contractions, proper heart rhythms, nerve functioning, bone building and strength, decreasing anxiety, digestion, and in keeping a stable protein-fluid balance. Sodium helps maintain fluid balance and is needed for muscle contractions as well as nerve signaling while Chloride also helps with fluid balance.
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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.
Nausea, headaches, confusion, and fatigue are some of the symptoms of hypoatremia. 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 ideal 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.
A day before working out, you should drink extra water and monitor the color of your urine. Ideally, it should be pale yellow since it means that one is properly hydrated.
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Drink two eight ounce cups of water two hours before starting your working. This would provide your kidneys with enough time to digest the fluid and give you time to empty your bladder before starting your exercise.
Thirty minutes before actually starting your regimen, drink another five to ten ounces of water. One ounce of fluid is equivalent to a medium mouthful of water.
Check your weight before and after exercise to know how much water you should take during your workout. It is ideal to drink an additional sixteen ounce of fluid for every pound lost during activity.
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After working out, you should check how many pounds you lost and drink another twenty four ounce of fluid. In the instance that you actually gained body weight, it is possible that you have overhydrated and you should drink less in the future.
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