Stay Hydrated for Easier, Better Workouts

Stay Hydrated for Easier, Better Workouts

Stay Hydrated

Stay hydrated to improve your workout performance!

It’s a no-brainer that we all need plenty of water to live. But Americans on average drink less than 4 cups a day—hardly enough, according to experts. The ante is upped if you’re doing any kind of exercise. But exactly what does staying hydrated mean? And exactly how much water do you really need for your workouts?

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What’s water to you?

When you realize exactly how water keeps your “machine” well oiled, you’ll be more inspired to heed the call. Water makes up more than half our body and is the primary transporter of nutrients through the body. It helps us eliminate waste, regulate body temperature through sweating, regulate blood pressure, facilitate digestion, and lubricate joints and body tissues. Even a little loss of water can be critical. That’s why replacing it, especially when you lose water through sweat, is essential.

How does water impact your workout?

Staying hydrated not only keeps you healthy, it makes your workouts more efficient. Water helps your heart get blood to your muscles more easily. That means, if your body isn’t well lubricated, you’ll have to push harder for the same challenge and muscle recovery will be slower. When you stay hydrated, you simply have more energy. Those pushups you struggled with when dehydrated will seem so much easier.

How much water do you really need for your workout?

First, you need to stay hydrated all day and build the bank up. The Mayo Clinic suggests drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day (they consider that all fluids, except alcohol, count toward the total). You also may need to drink more fluids depending on your climate, how much you sweat, and how hard and how long you work out. If you perspire a lot or if you live in a hot, humid climate, you need to drink more. People with diabetes, heart disease, or cystic fibrosis require more liquids. Some medications, like diuretics, deplete fluid from the body and thus require replacement.

For staying hydrated for exercise, experts give this formula:

-One to two hours before your workout, drink 15 to 20 ounces of water
-Fifteen minutes before you start exercising, drink between 8 and 10 ounces of water
-During your workout, drink another 8 ounces every 15 minutes.

How do you know when you’re dehydrated?

If you wait till you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Experts say the easiest way to check is to pay attention to the color of your urine. Pale and clear means you’re well hydrated; if it’s dark, you need more. And you also might consider keeping a water log. For techie types, there are apps that remind you to stay hydrated all day long. The app Water Drink syncs your weight and water data with S Health, tracks your drinking habits, and notifies you when it’s your personal time to guzzle!

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