When it comes to an intense workout session, staying properly hydrated is essential. Water helps to regulate your body temperature and with the lubrication of your joints. If you aren’t well hydrated, your body won’t give its best performance during the workout and even afterward. In fact, you may end up feeling dizzy, experiencing muscle cramps, and taking a longer time to recover from a workout.
Therefore, the importance of staying hydrated during exercise can’t be overemphasized. If your workout is especially intense, you run the risk of dehydration by losing too much body fluid through sweat. Your performance at a session will be dependent on your body’s ability to endure. Staying hydrated helps a lot with that. Try and follow the simple ways below to help you stay hydrated during a workout session and improve your performance.
- Drink Enough Water In Between
Taking water during exercise is one way to ensure that you stay hydrated. An intense workout is a good form of physical fitness but also, can cause you to sweat intensely. This makes you lose a large amount of fluid. Muscles rely on these fluids for flexibility and optimum function. When you drink water, you allow your body to replenish the loss and create a balance in your system.
Experts advise on taking at least five ounces of water every 20 minutes unless you feel too full to take that amount. If your workout is very intense or you’re working out in high temperatures, you might need to take more than that. The more you sweat, the more fluid you will lose and the more water you’ll need. Don’t wait until you start feeling thirsty to take a sip of water.
By the time you feel that urge to take water, you’re already dehydrated. You may not be in any danger, but that may hinder your body from performing at its best. However, in intense workout sessions, you need to time your drink, not to drink immediately before a super high intensity session.
Drinking water right before such a highly intense session may create a reflux or nausea effect on some people. The key is keeping a good balance on the amount of water you take and when you take it.
- Make Electrolytes Your Best Friend
When you sweat, your body loses electrolytes. These are the minerals in your blood that help with water regulation in your body, among other things. Research indicates that some sports drinks can help with balance the electrolytes, something which plain water can’t.
While an ordinary workout session may not require these drinks, but you might need them if you’re involved in a long or intense workout. Coconut water is said to contain these electrolytes, and sipping on it throughout your session can help replenish the amounts lost in sweat. A 200ml drink of unsweetened coconut water is believed to contain 12mg of magnesium and 330mg of potassium. Potassium helps generate the energy cells that help the nerves send the signal for muscles to contract.
Coconut water and some sports drinks will, therefore, help your body reload the potassium lost while keeping you hydrated. That’s why you need the electrolytes help since they help with hydration and also help to extend your physical endurance.
- Eat A Fruit
Eating during an intense workout may not seem like a good idea, besides having no time for that. But you can use the infusion method for some of them, such as strawberries or cherries in your water. Mangoes, bananas, dates, and watermelons also contain high electrolytes. These fruits can help you restock what you lose during a workout session. If you can’t infuse the fruits, ensure to take the fruit and drink water at the same time to keep your fluid level balanced.
- Look Out For Warning Signs
Your body sends signals when your body fluid level goes down. You’ll need to look out for signs such as:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness: When the water level in the body is low, the amount of water in your blood also goes down. This causes both blood level and pressure to go down, resulting in dizziness. If this happens, you should take a break and hydrate properly.
- Dry mouth: This is mostly the first sign that your need a water break. Your mouth may feel as hot and dry as a desert, a clear indicator that you need to hydrate.
- Urine color: If the color of your urine during that bathroom break is dark yellow, you definitely need to hydrate.
- Skin elasticity: When you’re dehydrated, your skin loses its elasticity. Try pinching yourself and hold your skin for a few seconds. If you notice it’s not going back to normal immediately, you need water.
Other signs include muscle cramps or heat exhaustion, and they are a call to you to take a break and take some water. Your body has a way of letting you know when you need to hydrate, and if you pay attention to these signs, you can end up refueling and sting on your routine for longer.
More Than Hydration
Fluids during intense workouts help with overall muscle function and body performance. You’ll also need to eat healthy snacks before you begin your workout. The nutrients your body receives from your healthy snack should help you perform better and keep away hunger until your session is over. The nest snacks should have a balance of protein and carbohydrates. Yogurt, fruits, and nuts or a granola bar make good pre-workout snacks.
Another way to help your body function well through those intense sessions is by being hydrated before and after a workout as well. Always note to go into a workout session well hydrated. After you are done, drink up as well.
Intense workouts can especially push your body further into dehydration because you’re losing too much fluid through sweat. But following these simple guidelines above can help you maintain that healthy fluid level in your body before, during, and after the workout. The best practice to help your body perform to its optimum is to ensure you stay hydrated at all times.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.