We all know that we should drink more water while working out, but sometimes it's hard to remember.
Drinking enough water is important for your health, it's also important to stay hydrated during exercise. Dehydration can lead to cramping, soreness, fatigue, and even heat stroke, especially if you're exercising in hot weather. If you're not drinking enough water before and after your workout then you could be putting yourself at risk of serious health problems.
We've created this article about how much water to drink during a workout. We also included some tips on how to stay hydrated throughout the day, and even before and after workouts as well!
The Importance Of Proper Hydration
Water is essential to life. 60% of our body is water. Think about that! Our brain and heart are composed of 73% water, our lungs are about 83% water, our skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79% water, and our bones are 31% water.
Water intake is very important when it comes to the physiology of our body. Without water our body would overheat, our blood would thicken, our muscle contraction would become difficult and slower, our body would accumulate waste, and we'd feel very uncomfortable.
We also need water for nutrients to be absorbed into our bodies. If you're dehydrated your body won't be able to absorb some supplements and vitamins which will weaken their effects.
Did you know that water is a macronutrient? Although water doesn't create energy as carbohydrates and fats do, our body still needs a large amount of it.
Dangers of Dehydration
Dehydration can affect your mood and performance, not to mention put you in danger. Dehydration is the condition in which your body loses more fluid than it takes in. As a result, the water content of your blood and other tissues decreases.
3 Stages of Dehydration:
Stage 1: Mild, 2% Fluid Loss
Stage 2: Moderate, 5% Fluid Loss
Stage 3: Severe, 10% Fluid Loss
Dehydration can lead to health problems in a short amount of time. When you're dehydrated your heart is under strain and it has to work harder to pump blood through your body.
While this is happening the kidneys are working hard to filter excess fluid out so that you can remain hydrated and healthy. If you're not hydrating enough then your body will retain extra fluid which can make you feel bloated and heavy.
If you're dehydrated then your body will have a harder time regulating temperature especially when it comes to exercising in hot weather. If you plan on working out in the summer months make sure you drink plenty of water so that your muscles and internal organs remain cool and functioning properly.
To maximize your ability you must stay hydrated, so let's talk about how much water you should be drinking during a workout!
How Much Water is Enough?
The U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is 3.7 liters and women 2.7 liters of total beverages a day, including water.
However, if you're exercising then you should be taking in more fluid to make up for the fluids lost through sweat.
How Much Water To Drink Before A Workout
It's important to drink water before you start your workout. Think about how much you sweated the last time that you worked out - it was probably a lot!
You'll want to rehydrate yourself before you start moving around, otherwise, it can be dangerous.
So how much water should you drink before a workout? The American Council on Exercise suggests drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 hours before the start of exercises. This means consuming approximately 2 to 3 cups of water before working out.
How Much Water To Drink During A Workout
During exercise is when hydration is most important. You're losing fluids and electrolytes through sweat, so you'll want to rehydrate while exercising.
The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 7 to 10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise. That's approximately 1 cup of water during your workout.
Remember to always carry a water bottle with you when exercising. This will allow you to take quick and easy sips of water during your workout.
How Much Water To Drink After A Workout
You should also stay hydrated after your workouts. This is when your body can take up fluids the most efficiently.
The American Council on Exercise suggests drinking 16 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise. For example, if you lost 1 pound during your workout you should drink 2 cups of water after your workout.
5 Tips on How to Stay Hydrated
Here are some tips on how to stay hydrated throughout the day. These tips will help you maintain a healthy level of water in your body:
- Set reminders for yourself about staying hydrated. For example, set an alarm on your phone every 3 hours reminding yourself to drink some water. You'll be more likely to drink water if you're reminded about it every so often.
- Keep a bottle of water with you at all times. You don't want to be caught in the moment without any water on hand – especially when you're thirsty! Keep an easy-to-grab water bottle with you throughout your day and make sure that it's filled with plenty of water.
- Drink a glass of water before each meal you eat. This will allow you to stay hydrated and your body will also better absorb nutrients that are in the food that you're eating.
- Be careful about consuming too much caffeine or soda. Both caffeine and soda contain diuretic properties.
- Keep a water bottle with you while you're working out. You'll need to drink extra water during exercise (as noted above), so make sure before you leave for the gym to grab a bottle of water.
Remember that water is essential for life and that it's important to drink enough water every day to keep your body functioning properly. Stay hydrated during your workouts by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water. You'll be able to go longer and harder, enabling you to maximize your fitness goals!
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