Hydration is a big deal when it comes to a high intensity workout, no matter how intense your workout is. Gulping down a liter of water before and after a treadmill session for example may seem somewhat refreshing but can leave you bloated and still under the recommended intake, – to optimize health and performance, you need a hydration plan.
It is advised that the average human should drink a minimum of two liters of water per day. This may seem like a lot but if you do like a cup of tea or coffee, these can also contribute to that daily quota to make it easier. Solely relying on caffeinated drinks can have an unfavorable effect on the body though, actually causing dehydration among other negative impacts to your health.
Consciously drinking plenty of water throughout the course of the day will soon develop into a subconscious habit and your body will always be adequately hydrated to withstand exercises of the high intensity level. As you can see, staying hydrated during a workout is vitally important which is why a quality health club will have plenty of accessible water dispensers. It is also worth noting that having your own water bottle with you so that you can easily re-hydrate while using fitness equipment should be a norm. The same can be said if you do at home workouts, having an adequate amount of water available would only benefit you.
Pushing Your Limits
Sweating can be a clear sign that you are pushing your limits and even improving your fitness, but your body’s natural cooling system uses up a lot of water and you will need to top it up. Unfortunately, air conditioned cardio studios are an overlooked luxury by some as heated rooms can dramatically and unhealthily increase sweat rates or leave you feeling faint or week. This is not only unpleasant but also can be dangerous to your overall health.
Personal trainers are experts in nutrition and fluid intake. Talking with trainers at your gym can give you a real insight into how to stay on top of your hydration. You could also talk to a nutritionist as well. Don’t seek sound advice from friends, everyone’s body is different. Luckily, there are certain tests that you can carry out to monitor your hydration levels too if you really want to be in optimum shape for performance reasons. One example is the capillary refill test. Take your finger and squeeze the tip of it (where your fingerprint is) for 5 seconds, let go, it should be white for a second and return to it’s normal color in 3 seconds or less. If the time goes above 4 seconds then you may be dehydrated. The best course of action is to grab some water and hydrate right away. For your own good too you should stay clear away from myths about hydration.
Again, the experts at your local gym can advise on the best way to examine your hydration and advise you on how to stay hydrated before, after, and during your exercise routine to avoid cramping and or risk of dehydration. Drinking plenty of water until it becomes habitual can provide you with a real peace of mind and save you from dangerously glugging a bottle before exercising – so it is well worth planning ahead of time.
Why It Is Even More Crucial For Seniors To Stay Hydrated During Workouts
It is crucial for anyone exercising to stay properly hydrated but it is even more important for seniors who are more prone to heat related illnesses. The heat built up by the muscles being exercised cause the body temperature to increase which results in the body perspiring to try to cool itself down. This is a normal function of the body but in extreme heat and humidity situations the body can sweat even more than is required and this can result in rapid fluid loss. In addition to the relatively benign side effect of poor workout performance, dehydration can also cause heat stroke which can lead to seizures, coma, and even death.
When the body first feels the effects of dehydration the ability for the blood to carry oxygen is lessened resulting in weakness and dizziness. Attempts to continue exercising while in a dehydrated state can ultimately cause unhealthy fluctuations in blood pressure, nausea, fainting, and other symptoms of heat exhaustion and in some cases, can result in stroke.
Some of the early signs of dehydration are dry skin, fatigue, thirst, and infrequent urination. One of the reasons that the dehydration threat is higher for seniors is because of thinner skin that comes with aging. The thinner skin makes a person more prone to losing fluid. Another issue that makes seniors more open to fluid loss are their medications, some medicines can cause you to become easily dehydrated.
Now to avoid becoming dehydrated during a workout, drink at least eight ounces of water every fifteen minutes to make sure that you keep ahead of fluid loss. It is also necessary to take in this amount of water during any exercise, not just when exercising in hot conditions; as crazy as it sounds you can experience rapid fluid loss in cool environments as well during intense exercise, surprised?
Fortunately the body has unique ways of telling us if dehydration is present; the easiest and fastest way to tell if you are drinking enough water is by the color of the urine, if it is clear then you are getting enough fluids, if its a darker yellow (like in the picture) уоu аrе nоt properly hydrated. Take steps to not become hydrated by avoiding caffeinated drinks before, during, and after workouts as these will only cause you to be more susceptible to dehydration. You should drink about a gallon (3L) of water per day whether you workout or not to keep your body hydrated properly; if you exercise you need an extra 24 ounces per hour. Furthermore another step you can take is to also avoid high protein diets which cause more frequent urination leading to dehydration.
How Do I Stay Hydrated During My Workouts?
As you have learned, for the body to be able to keep fit and perform better it is essential to have enough bodily fluids.
When a person exercises, the internal body temperature tends to increase and this causes the body to release its internal fluids out through the sweat glands and through the process of respiration – it really is a cool process. Once this high temperature sweat gets evaporated, it takes the heat with it and the body cools down once again.
Now, although the internal temperature regulatory system is vital for good health, it is not good to lose too much fluid. High intensity exercise can cause a person to lose up to three quarts or more of fluid per hour. With the loss of bodily fluids, performance also tends to decline.
It is because of this excessive loss of fluids, that causes the adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and which will then lead to muscle cramps, dizziness and in extreme cases heat strokes.
Health experts recommend that in order to replace the lost water and electrolytes such as sodium and potassium one should consume a sports drink before, during and after a workout. The amount varies depending on a person’s weight, their tendency to sweat, the temperature of the environment outside and several other factors.
On an average you should consume roughly 18 ounces a couple of hours before beginning a workout, then another 10 ounces about 15 minutes before starting a warm-up. For a HIIT workout, every half hour that you workout, make sure to consume at least 30 ounces and then another 20 ounces (a medium water bottle) after the workout once you have completed a few minutes of cool down.
Again avoid caffeinated drinks prior to the workout even if you feel void of energy as they have a diuretic effect especially while re-hydrating. Even consumption of alcohol for a few hours after the workout is not recommended because it hampers the smooth rate of cool down because the body temperature keeps fluctuating.
Be careful of sports drinks or fruit juices that have a high concentration of sugar. You will end up consuming more calories than what you work so hard to burn and excess sugar can also create an imbalance in the routine cardiovascular process. Also try and avoid soft drinks and diet soft drinks before exercising because they not only contain sugar but also excessive carbon dioxide which is unsuitable for recovery.
If you do have access to health drinks that help to replace lost minerals (such as sodium, potassium and magnesium) then drink them. They are actually ideal for exercise hydration. Look for drinks that have some sodium and potassium since they are both essential for proper heart functioning and aid in helping to regulate cellular activity.
Others prefer Isotonic drinks, as they are an excellent option for those who like to workout because of their easy ability to get absorbed by the body fast. They also make excellent replacement sources since their composition is quite similar to the body’s natural concentrations of the required vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
Іn shоrt just keep in mind before any high intensity workout that you have to pay keen attention to your hydration in order to get the most effect and have a safe workout.
Tips For Staying Hydrated
Many people who have taken up a regular regimen of exercise also spend a great deal of effort selecting what they eat. You have to do the same for what you drink. This is important. Water loss needs to be replaced in order to maintain a healthy balance while conducting an exercise.
Remember: Water is Your Body’s Coolant
Just link the water/coolant in your automobile that keeps the engine temperature at the normal working level, your body needs water to keep its temperature at the right level. Did you know that water also acts like a lubricant that cushions the body’s joints and helps to introduce nutrients to the body as well as remove waste? It’s funny how we take water for granted. If your ever in a situation where you of a person becomes tired and light headed leading to headaches and constipation. There’s a good chance that lack of water can be linked to it.
Water essentially provides replacement for the loss of sodium, potassium and chloride – the electrolytes that are needed to keep your body functioning normally. Additionally, people exercising in hot weather need to be particularly careful because if these elements are excessively lost and not replenished, a person can actually become very weak and possibly pass out suffering from either heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Without the proper intake of fluids during exercise, a person may just wind up needing medical attention.
So How Much Should I Drink?
It is important to realize that you need to drink before, during and after your exercise session. The amount that you drink is going to be dependent upon a number of different aspects including:
- Your rate of perspiration
- Body size
- Exercise session heat and humidity conditions (indoors/outdoors – summer/winter)
- Workout intensity
- Any medications presently being taken
- Actual medical condition and history
Anyone taking medications or has a specific medical condition needs to speak with a physician about fluid intake requirements before starting an exercise program. Younger people – as well as older ones – are more susceptible to dehydration and would have different requirements for fluid intake during exercise. However, here are some guidelines for any adults in good health not taking any medications.
- Prior to exercising, drink fluids a few hours before you begin. This will have you start exercising with a normal balance of electrolytes within your system. During your exercise routine, drink water. However, people engaged in any kind of high intensity exercise program that goes beyond 45 minutes should consume sports drinks that provide better replacement of electrolytes and carbohydrates.
- After your exercise, you need to replace all the fluids and electrolytes lost during your workout by drinking within 30 minutes after your session has ended. Keep in mind your need for fluid replacement will be much higher during intense endurance activities. It is always highly recommended to check with a doctor for a complete set of information about fluid replacement and exercising. Sometimes you need to gradually consume more fluids that are necessary for replacement when you exercise getting into the habit for consuming what you need.
Hydration For Better Sports Performance
No matter your sport, you should pay close attention to what you drink, how often you drink, and the quantity you drink. It is not the type of sport you play, but rather the time and intensity that are important.
What’s the big deal about water? Considering the fact that your body is 75% water, water plays an important role in your health. Here’s the short list.
- It regulates your body’s temperature
- Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
- Removes wastes from inside your body
- Cushions joints and protects organs and tissues
Dehydration puts a strain on your heart by decreasing blood volume. It increases body temperature which can lead to heat stroke. Dehydration also clouds your thinking making you less likely to think on your feet. None of these outcomes are going to help you out with your performance.
Through sweating, breathing, and urination, the average person loses 8-10 cups of water per day – without strenuous exercise. Therefore, it is critical to replace what you lose. Fluid needs should be one of your top priority because you are often on the field or court for hours in hot, humid conditions especially during the summer months.
The good news is that water is in most foods you eat. More so in fresh fruits and vegetables than other types of foods so try to eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day (also good for providing other nutrients to keep you healthy and strong).
Drinking water is not your only option for hydration. All fluids count toward your overall intake (except alcohol). However, beverages with caffeine will cause you to run to the bathroom more often. This can be disruptive during your playing time. You will benefit more from fluids that are not sugar laden like sodas. During exercise, you can resort to drinking sports drinks instead of water. As sports drinks are absorbed more quickly into your body. However, water is still adequate enough.
If it’s one thing to take away from all this, it’s just to remember that your body although strong really needs to be hydrated properly in order to function optimally. When you have an optimal functioning body then you can complete any high intensity routine. Listen to your body first and stay healthy, stay fit. Good Luck!