The importance of water for hydration during exercise
If there’s one thing we all take for granted during exercise it is the importance of water to keep you hydrated. We all carry our water bottle with us during our time at the gym, and we go to the water fountain and fill it up sometimes without even thinking about it. But what if we really delved into the importance of hydration during exercise, instead of putting that water bottle back in our bags after exercise and not thinking about it again, would you be more compelled to hold on to your bottle and make sure that you re-filled it time and time again during the day to make sure that you were properly hydrated until you go to bed? One simple tip to help with water intake is to add flavoured BCAAs. This will ensure that your tastebuds aren't bored and your muscles are also being fed with the amino acids that they need to grow.
If there is something that I try to promote every day, it is the importance of water. When dieting water is crucial for helping to loose body fat, it helps to regulate our body temperature, lubricate our joints and transports nutrients through our body. Not drinking enough water can cause dehydration which can lead to muscle cramps, dizziness and fatigue.
The most common causes of dehydration are not enough fluid intake, excessive sweating, not drinking fluids during exercise and drinking only when thirsty.
I train with weights on a day to day basis and complete a considerable amount of cardio, therefore as a rule I will drink 4 litres of water a day. There are no set rules to ensure that you are properly hydrated but to help introduce more fluids in your diet, try to drink a pint of water every 2 hours. Very often people will say ‘but I drink coffee or tea’ but the proper fluid that your body needs is one without caffeine added or squash or milk, but just the good stuff that comes free out the tap!
There are some simple ways that you can manage how hydrated you are….
- Monitor your urine! This is a perfect way to judge how hydrated you are, dark coloured, means you are dehydrated and a large amount of light coloured urine means that you are properly hydrated.
- Check your temperature! Exercising means that you are losing fluids through sweating but even when you are cold, especially when running outside, this can mask if you are dehydrated as you may not be sweating as much as when you are in the gym but in both cases it is important to make sure you are drinking enough water.
- How much are you Sweating? Sweating can differ from person to person but I know from experience that when I was at my biggest and started to train I would sweat buckets! This is a huge sign that you need to keep more hydrated then the next person who may not be sweating as much as you! All that fluid needs replacing.
- Exercise Duration! Exercising for long periods of time means that you are more susceptible to dehydration and need to keep your fluid intake high to keep your performance at its best.
I hope this article gives you a better insight into the importance of water, keeping your fluid topped up every 2 hours and making sure that you drink a good 1 to 2 pints of water during exercise will ensure that you are performing at your best.