We always hear the fact that proper hydration during exercise is optimal and experts recommend drinking water every 10 minutes of exercise. Despite this, there are still people trying to work out as hard as they can, but fail to drink fluids along with exercise. Here, we discuss the importance of staying hydrated during exercise.
Hydration replaces lost fluids
When you exercise, you actually sweat a lot because the body has the capacity to cool down to avoid excessively high body temperature as working out converts energy to heat. Sweating usually has two mechanisms. First, we sweat to cool down the body and we sweat to release the waste materials during exercise. Because of sweating during intense activities such as working out, our body loses a lot of water that need to be replaced. After a considerable time of working out, you feel thirsty and more exhausted because of the reduced circulating fluids in your body. Due to this, it is essential to drink regularly during exercise.
Hydration replaces lost electrolytes
Aside from fluid loss, sweating also increases electrolyte loss. Particularly, sweating reduces your sodium and potassium levels requiring electrolyte replacements through fluids. Minimal electrolyte loss from exercise may actually lead to frequent muscle spasms, cramps and muscle weakness, which may significantly affect your performance. Water is by far the most essential fluid during exercise, but in cases of high-impact activities such as sports, you may need sports drinks to replace the lost electrolytes in your body.
Hydration keeps up with the fast heart rate
When you exercise, your heart usually pumps faster and harder. In this line, there is increased perfusion to the kidneys promoting diuresis. Definitely, you need water to promote normal urination. Also, you need water to help the heart have a normal pace of contraction. If fluids are lost without adequate replacement, the heart pumps even harder, thereby increasing the workload of the heart.
Hydration regulates the temperature
Sweating helps in lowering the core body temperature during exercise to prevent heat stroke. In this line, adequate hydration promotes more efficient sweating to maintain a normal body temperature.
So How Much is the Recommended Fluid Intake during Exercise?
There is really no exact amount of water required during exercise because each individual has different sweat rate, intensity of exercise, heart rate and duration of training. Nevertheless, it is generally recommended to drink before, during and after exercise to the extent of satisfying your thirst. Try to have as much as 10 ounces of fluids every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise for that matter. Also, it is recommended to drink cold fluids to help regulate body temperature and make you feel refreshed.
The body consists of water by as much as 70 to 80% of the total body weight. In this line, proper hydration during exercise is very important to prevent significant alteration in the fluid balance. So next time you hit the gym, grab a bottle of cold water and sports drinks to have available fluid.