Whether you are a pro athlete, active exerciser, or just someone starting your workout journey, we have all heard sayings like “drink more water” or “stay hydrated.” We know it is important to have proper hydration, but have you ever stopped to think why?
Every cell in your body needs water. It helps keep you healthy and also regulates your body temperature. So when you’re dehydrated, it’s a killer to any workout. Resulting in a multitude of symptoms including muscle cramps, feeling thirsty, weak, and/ or fatigued, dehydration is extremely prevalent in America, as a staggering 75 percent of Americans suffer from chronic dehydration according to doctors.
How Much Water Should You Drink
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, hydrating before, during, and after your workout is vital. It is recommended to drink 8-12 ounces of water 10-15 minutes before your exercise. When exercising for more than 1 hour, you should drink 3-8 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes during the workout. After your workout, be sure to drink 20-24 ounces of water for every pound you lost.
These numbers can vary from person to person and are based on a variety of factors. These include:intensity of your workout, type of clothes you are wearing, and the biggest variable, the amount of sweat your body produces.
When working out, your body’s temperature rises and you lose the water your body so vitally needs to perform proper functions. By staying hydrated and drinking fluids during your workout, you help your body regulate a proper temperature.
Overhydration, also known as water intoxication, is when the cells in your body are filled with too much liquid. You may not realize the amount of water you were drinking during a part of your workout and get overhydrated. This can cause weakness, drowsiness, and in extreme cases even death. To avoid getting overhydrated, eat salty foods and consume more sodium. This will counteract the high levels of fluids and keep your body at normal levels.
The next time you go to workout, you may want to bring a water bottle or locate the nearest fountain before you start. Staying properly hydrated will keep your body at proper temperature and allow you to work harder, more efficient, and will keep you from being fatigued quicker.