General guidelines suggest that the average person needs to drink 64 oz of water a day. Many people struggle with getting the recommended 64 oz of water. While water is the best option, herbal teas, fruit juices, and sports drinks all have advantages. You may find that starting and ending your day with 8oz of water will make the remaining 48 oz of fluids easy to manage. You may need more than 64 oz of fluids on days you exercise vigorously.
Water is essential to every system and function in your body, so staying properly hydrated shouldn’t be reserved for the days you are working out. Water keeps your blood pressure regulated, your body temperature balanced, carries nutrients to your muscles, removes waste products and is necessary for your brain to function properly. If you are not getting enough fluids, your performance could be affected.
If you are dehydrated, your heart needs to work harder to keep your blood flowing. Without proper hydration, your blood volume decreases. With reduced blood volume, your heart needs to beat faster to compensate. Less oxygenated blood will be flowing to your brain, and you may end up with lightheadedness or dizziness. If you are getting lightheaded or dizzy during or after your workout, you may want to try increasing your fluid intake.’
If you are not adequately hydrated, low energy levels can compromise the effectiveness of your workout. Fatigue is one of the first symptoms of dehydration. You may find that even mild dehydration will reduce your stamina. If fatigue is getting in the way, you may find that increasing your fluids will give you more energy.
Your body needs proper hydration to keep the energy moving efficiently to your muscles. Muscle fatigue or cramps can result if hydration levels are depleted. Staying properly hydrated will also reduce your recovery time following strenuous exercise.
Even if you take a joint supplement, you may not be doing all you can to protect your joints. Over time the joints lose the ability to stay hydrated and cushioned, especially if a lot of your beverages contain caffeine or your diet is high protein and high fat, due to the diuretic effects. Increasing hydration will help protect your joints by keeping them well cushioned.
There isn’t a set amount of fluids to drink during exercise, but there are guidelines for fluid intake before during and after exercise.
- 15-20 oz one-two hours before a workout
- 8-10 0z 15 minutes before your workout
- 4 to 6 ounces during every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise
- 8 oz of water within 30 minutes of completing your workout
While it is important to hydrate during your workout, the way you hydrate can also have an impact. Although cold water, or other fluids, may feel more satisfying, your body first needs to expend energy to heat the water before it can be absorbed. Have you ever gulped ice cold water after running in the heat? Yeah, you’re stomach will hate you for that. Water that is room temperature will be utilized more efficiently. Try sipping room temperature water throughout your run, so you’re not tempted to drink it all after you’re done.
Maintaining proper hydration is essential to your overall health and will benefit every process in your body. Maintaining your hydration levels throughout your workout will improve the effectiveness and reduce your recovery time. You may find that increasing your hydration levels will increase your energy and your stamina.