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The importance of staying hydrated

Girl drinking water while exerciseIs it important to drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise?

Absolutely.

Since the body is made up for 70% water, it’s important to ensure it is kept well-hydrated to ensure your cells function properly. It will help you replenish any water lost through breathing and sweating, keep you feeling stronger and help you workout for longer and more effectively.

What happens if you don’t drink enough water whilst exercising?

You’ll become dehydrated.

The effects of this could be dizziness, feeling faint, your muscles won’t be as receptive to the exercise and you’ll start to get cramps.

Water acts as a lubricant for your muscles, joints and vital organs as it helps transport oxygen and glucose round the body whilst exercising.

Why is this so important whilst exercising?

For your muscles: they require water to stay strong and flexible.

For your joints: they require water to prevent stiffness.

For your brain: it requires water to continue sending messages around the body for things such as body temperature regulation.

What temperature should your water be at?

The ultimate temperature to drink water before and during exercise is at room temperature. It better hydrates the body than that of cold water. If the water is too cold, your body has to use energy to warm it up so that the body absorbs it – this is taking energy away from what it needs to be doing which is helping you exercise.

Whilst the cold water may seem more thirst quenching, it will actually take longer for it to be used efficiently.

So how much should you drink before, during and after?

If you work out regularly, it’s recommended that you drink between ½ and 1 ounce of water for each pound of body weight per day.

So for example:

If you weigh 140 pounds and exercise a couple of times a week, your approximate water requirement will be around 70 ounces of water per day.

Whereas if you weigh 140 pounds but exercise 5 times a week, then your approximate water requirement would be around 140 ounces per day.

Here’s a simple calculation to help you work out your ideal water intake when exercising:

Work out < 3 times per week = Body weight (lbs) x 0.5 = (ounces of fluid/day)

Work out > 4 times per week =Body weight (lbs) x 1 = (ounces of fluid/day)

In terms of how much you should drink immediately before exercise, during exercise and after exercise, the following guidelines have been suggested by leading personal trainers.

Before Exercise: Drink two to three cups of water within the two hours before your workout.

During Exercise: Drink one cup of water every 15 minutes.

After Exercise: Drink two to three Cups of water.

So go on, fill up a glass now!

 

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