It’s common knowledge that a person should drink about eight glasses of water each day. However, should this amount be doubled when working out?
Dehydration is a workout enthusiast’s dreadful enemy. One’s ability to perform when doing sports or during a workout can decline with even just a hint of dehydration. Amanda Carlson, a trainer, said that just losing two percent of one’s body weight in fluid can decrease performance by as much as twenty-five percent.
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Hydration during workout is imperative not just for athletes but for everyone to get the most out of their exercise regimen. Exercising can lead to the loss of water and not replenishing that can result to feelings of dizziness, lethargy, and cramps.
Water makes the body function much better and smoother. Drinking enough water can help minimize the need for the heart to work hard in pumping blood to the body because oxygen and nutrients can be sent more efficiently to the muscles used during workouts.
One problem, though, is that even experienced athletes have difficulty in drinking enough water. It is important to know that hydration should not just be during workouts but before and after it as well.
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Taking a sip of seven to ten ounces of fluid every ten to twenty minutes of exercise is highly recommended to prevent dehydration. For those who work out for longer than an hour a day or for those who are taking on a particularly intense workout regimen, electrolytes may need to be replenished too.
Electrolytes are nutrients or chemicals in the body that facilitate in heartbeat regulation and in allowing muscles to contract for ease of movement. Calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and chloride are the major electrolytes found in the body.
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Calcium is responsible for muscle contractions, nerve signaling, blood clotting, cell division, as well as in the formation of bones and teeth. Potassium helps keep blood pressure levels stable, regulate heart contractions as well as with muscle functions.
Magnesium is the electrolyte needed for muscle contractions, proper heart rhytms, nerve functioning, bone building and strength, lessening anxiety, digestion, and in keeping a stable protein-fliud balance. Sodium helps maintain fluid balance and is needed for muscle contractions as well as nerve signaling while Chloride also helps with fluid balance.
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During workouts, the loss of electrolytes in the body can be replenished with the intake of a sports drink or electrolyte enhanced water. It is also important to take note that overhydration can lead to hypoatremia, which happens when extra water in the body dilutes the sodium content in the blood.
Hypoatremia can lead to nausea, headaches, confusion, and fatigue. In extreme cases, it can even result to comatose and death.
If you prefer sports drink, check the label to see whether it can provide enough electrolytes for your body during workout. The ideal amount is fourteen grams of carbohydrates, which should come from glucose, sucrose, and/or fructose, twenty eight milligrams of potassium, and one hundred milligrams of sodium per eight ounce serving.
A day before working out, you should drink extra water and monitor the color of your urine. Ideally, it should be pale yellow since it means that one is properly hydrated.
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Drink two eight ounce cups of water two hours before starting your working. This would provide your kidneys with enough time to digest the fluid and give you time to empty your bladder before starting your exercise.
Thirty minutes before actually starting your regimen, drink another five to ten ounces of water. One ounce of fluid is equivalent to a medium mouthful of water.
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Weigh yourself before and after exercise to determine exactly how much water you should be taking during your workout. Ideally, for every pound lost during activity, one should drink an additional sixteen ounce of fluid.
After working out, you should check how many pounds you lost and drink another twenty four ounce of fluid. In case you actually gained weight, you may have overhydrated and should remember to drink less water in the future.