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5 Laws of Proper Hydration During Exercise

Posted by on December 6, 2019 in Exercise and Fitness, Health with 0 Comments

Description: Maintaining body fluid balance is of utmost importance, especially if you exercise daily. Read this article to know the five rules of hydration to keep your physical and mental performance at their peak. 

Being adequately hydrated is vital for one's well-being. This is more so the case when one is exercising. To get the most out of your workout regimen, you must be aware of the importance of hydration. In this article, we take a look at five rules regarding the importance of hydration during exercise that you ought to follow if you want to avoid fluid loss and genuinely benefit from your workout.

Law 1 – Avoid Dehydration 

Dehydration occurs when your body loses more water than you consume. The body won't correctly respond if there is a lack of water. Some of the symptoms of dehydration are as follows:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea

Other symptoms may include mental fog or confusion and even loss of consciousness. These can be extremely dangerous, especially when you are working on or near gym machines. 

Law 2 – Hydration in Sport – Before, During, and After Workout

Working out utilizes body fluids to keep your body cool.  To replenish yourself, you must ensure that you keep a bottle of water handy at all times. As a general rule of thumb, it is best to drink water before you start exercising: two glasses of water two hours before the activity. 

Besides, drinking water during exercise is of prime importance, too. Your body will sweat whenever you are engaging in activities such as running, lifting weights, playing sports, or the like. Ensure that you are drinking 5-10 ounces of water every quarter of an hour to keep your muscles well-hydrated. If this is not done, the likelihood of muscle cramps starts to increase exponentially. 

Once you have finished exercising, drink again. This cannot be stressed enough. For more precise results, weigh yourself before and after the workout. For every pound of weight that you lose, drink around 20 ounces of water or other fluids. 

Law 3 – Avoid Carbonated Drinks

The main reason why carbonated drinks should be avoided at all costs is that people tend to stop drinking after a few gulps. This way, they consume less fluid than they would have if the drink was not carbonated. Another reason is that the sugar in carbonated drinks gets absorbed more slowly and can even cause stomach distress. 

For most moderate workouts of short durations, water works just fine. However, if you have had an intense training longer than an hour, it is best to drink something that contains carbs, and electrolytes. Sports beverages are a good substitute since they are formulated with an ideal mix of sodium, carbohydrates, and water. Most athletes understand the importance of hydration in sport and make use of such drinks when training. 

The loss of electrolytes through sweat can severely compromise the physical performance and mental acuity. These can be countered by sports drinks, which help maintain blood sugar levels during exercise. It can further prevent fatigue since muscle glycogen is preserved, which ensures that you aren’t tapping into your reserves.

You can, if you prefer, make your own inexpensive sports drink. All you have to do is dilute fruit juice in water. There are many ways to experiment with and make your own drink or get the information directly from the Internet.

Law 4 – Don’t Overdrink

Yes, it’s possible to overdo here. Although the importance of water during exercise cannot be overstated, one should still drink within one’s limits. If you drink water regularly or find yourself drinking even when it is not required, regardless of whether you are exercising or not, you may become susceptible to water intoxication or hyponatremia

It can lead to a flooding of the insides of your cells due to abnormally low levels of sodium in your bloodstream. It can lead to bloating and discoloration in your lips, hand, and feet. This is more of a risk for women since they are more prone to developing this condition than men. In severe cases, debilitating health problems can arise, too, such as seizures, coma, and even death. 

That said, for most healthy individuals, drinking too much water can lead to frequent urination that can fluctuate your body temperature rapidly. This can be especially troubling when you are exercising. 

Law 5 – Dealing With Heat Strokes

Though the previous four laws pertain to precautionary measures that you ought to take to ensure heat strokes or dehydration doesn’t happen, one should be aware of what must be done when things go downhill. It's especially true for athletes who are training outdoors.

Heatstroke is a severe form of dehydration, and extreme exposure to the sun causes it. When there isn’t enough in the body, the person does not sweat enough, and the body isn’t able to cool down. When a person is suffering from heatstroke, it is best to ensure that you go through the following:

  • Get the person under the shade
  • Stimulate healing by removing the clothes and applying cold water to the skin
  • Hydrate the person orally or intravenously to compensate for electrolyte loss. 
  • Bed rest is advised since the body temperature will fluctuate for a few weeks after the incident.

Although fluids are necessary for hydration, some food is also required to maintain blood sugar levels. Combine healthy snacks that are full of carbohydrates, protein, and a bit of fat to get the nutrients that the body requires. Not only will it allow you to perform better, but it will also keep hunger from interfering with your exercise regimen. 

Conclusion

The importance of hydration during exercise cannot be stressed enough. Not only will it keep the effects of dehydration at bay, but it will also ensure that your physical performance and mental acuity remain at their peak. So, the next time you are going to hit the gym or do any other strenuous activity, ensure that you have a bottle of water with you at all times. 

About the Author

Randolph Ray from gym-expert.com is a passionate writer and Nutrition & Fitness expert who focuses on helping people improve their lives through informative articles. He writes about helping to improve people’s health and well-being through exercising and healthy eating. His interaction with health experts and fitness enthusiasts helps him to offer valuable information to his readers. 

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