Water and exercise – are you hydrated enough?
Drinking water unlocks a number of excellent advantages, including better digestion, enhanced health and beauty, and even improved weight loss. Yet many still don’t drink as much water as they should do on a daily basis. According to research documented by the Natural Hydration Council, around 89% of the UK population don’t drink enough water. It’s not just during everyday life that maintaining healthy hydration levels is important. The weather outside and your activity levels will dictate how much water your body needs to survive and thrive.
Exercise is key to ensuring great health and well-being. Whatever your chosen activity, keeping well hydrated is vital for guaranteeing optimum performance and endurance. Here we delve deeper into the importance of drinking water when exercising so you can determine if you are hydrated enough…
Why is drinking water important during exercise?
Whether you are a pro athlete, an exercise enthusiast or simply a weekend warrior, it’s important to stay hydrated when working out. Getting the right amount of water will ensure your body temperature is successfully regulated, however intense your workout. Water is also an excellent lubricant, keeping your joints in great condition.
The benefits don’t end there. Your energy levels will be positively influenced by how hydrated you are. Water helps to transport the nutrients that maximise energy and boost performance, preventing the aches, pains and cramps that can stop you from reaching the top of your game.
Are you drinking enough when working out?
Water is the best fuel your muscles can receive, but being and staying hydrated isn’t just a matter of having a quick sip of water during your workout. Achieving the hydration levels you need to reap all these related rewards means drinking before, during and after exercise. Drinking steadily during the day is recommended. When exercising you should also aim to drink half a litre of water at least four hours before your workout is due to begin. These levels should then be topped up just before you exercise and throughout your workout, so make sure that water bottle is handy!
How much water you should drink during exercise, and indeed throughout the day, varies from person to person. Your size, fitness levels, environment and the intensity of the exercise all have parts to play in determining your recommended intake. Many use their sweat rate – calculated by comparing weight before and after exercise – to determine how much water their body needs to stay hydrated when exercising. For every kilogram of body weight lost, around 1.5 litres of fluid must be consumed. Reacting quickly to the symptoms of dehydration is key.
You’re likely to lose more water from your body during exercise through breathing and sweating, so make sure you drink regularly to replace these fluids and make the most of your workout.
How can being dehydrated hinder performance?
Dehydration has a number of nasty side effects. Without proper hydration, your performance will be negatively impacted, which is all the more reason to keep drinking water as you exercise. Michael Bergeron PhD from Sanford Health Sports Medicine explains more about the impact dehydration can have on sports performance:
“Your body only needs to be dehydrated slightly to have a negative impact on performance, especially in the heat. Side effects of significant dehydration during sport include decreased performance, strained cardiovascular system, premature fatigue and increased risk for heat illness.”
When selecting the best beverage for sports performance, try filtered water. Discover the reasons why a water filter is well worth having and enjoy the many advantages of great hydration today.