Staying hydrated is essential for everyone, but athletes need to drink and replace fluids even more during exercise. Water is the most essential nutrient for life and performs many functions such as controlling temperature, lubricating joints, distributing nutrients across the body, and removing waste and toxins.
- What is dehydration?
Dehydration can occur during almost any physical exercise. It does not have to be very hot and you don’t have to have visible perspiration. Dehydration may occur in the ocean, at a pool or lake, or while skiing on a cold winter day. Athletes are recommended to begin exercise well hydrated, reduce dehydration during exercise, and substitute fluid losses during exercise because dehydration that exceeds 2% body weight loss damages the efficiency of your workout. Staying hydrated is one of the most important fitness and nutrition tips to everyone who are planning to start their fitness journey.
- Workout and Hydration
The importance of fluid intake in maintaining a balanced body cannot be underestimated. Water is essential for a healthy heart, brain, and muscles, as well as for the control of our body temperature. Being properly hydrated during your workout session increases the overall ability to perform workouts, improves sleep, encourages detoxification, and helps weight loss. We always fail to adequately hydrate during our workouts, resulting in dehydration.
This can result in serious issues such as muscle exhaustion, excessive sweating as a result of a rise in our body temperatures and thus overheating, as well as a concern with our mental functions, which can lead to more serious issues such as dizziness or fainting.
- Excessive Water Intake
Athletes may suffer from hyponatremia (water intoxication) if they drink too much water. Excessive water consumption can result in low sodium content in the blood, which is a serious medical emergency.
- General Fluid Needs Recommendations
Although precise fluid recommendations are impossible due to human complexity, most athletes can use the instructions below as a starting point and adjust their fluid needs accordingly.
A)Hydration Before Exercise
Before going to bed, drink about 2.5 cups of fluids or a sports drink.
When you wake up, drink about 2.5 cups of fluids.
Drink an additional 1.5-2.5 cups of fluids 20-30 minutes before exercise
B)Keeping Hydrated During Exercise
Every 5-15 minutes, drink 12-16 fluid ounces.
If you are exercising for more than 90 minutes, drink 12-16 fluid ounces of a solution containing 30-60 grams of carbohydrates (or a 6%–8% carbohydrate solution), sodium (300-600 mg per hour), potassium, and magnesium per 5-15 minutes.
C)Hydration After Exercise
Weigh yourself before and after exercise, and replenish any fluid losses.
For every pound lost, drink 24 fl oz (approximately 3 cups) of water.
Near the end of the workout, consume a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a weekend warrior or an elite athlete, proper hydration is crucial when exercising. Water makes up approximately 60% of your body and plays an important role in every bodily function. You can lose a lot of fluid when you exercise – as much as a litre or two an hour – mainly through sweating and breathing. A hydration plan tailored to your needs can maximize performance in training and competition while decreasing the risks of dehydration, overhydration, heat illness, and injury.