How to Stay Hydrated During Exercise

Filed under: Hydration

In our blogs, we talk a lot about the importance of staying hydrated on a daily basis. But what about during exercise? Since working out places increased strain on your body, adequate hydration is even more important than ever. If you become dehydrated during exercise, you could experience muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue, or even dangerous symptoms like fainting.

Are you drinking enough water? Monitoring your urine is one of the more common methods of determining whether you’re dehydrated. Next time you work out, notice whether your urine is medium to dark yellow afterward, which would indicate some degree of dehydration (possibly severe).

And of course, if you experience extreme thirst, headache, cramping or lightheaded feelings, you’re probably not drinking enough water.

How much should you drink? Most people feel apprehensive about drinking too much water while exercising, since having to stop mid-run to find a bathroom can be annoying. So how much should you consume?

That’s a tricky question, because heat, humidity, and how much you sweat can play a role in dehydration. In general, the American Council on Exercise offers the following advice:

  • 2-3 hours before exercise, drink 17-20 ounces of water
  • 20 minutes before you work out, drink 8 ounces of water
  • Every 10-20 minutes during exercise, drink 7-10 ounces of water
  • 30 minutes after you wrap up your workout, drink 8 ounces of water

What about sports drinks? For most people, water is sufficient to keep them adequately hydrated. If you work out more intensely than the average person – for example, longer than an hour, or at sustained high intensity, or in very hot weather – a sports drink might be helpful. It can replace lost potassium and electrolytes, but watch out for the varieties that contain lots of added sugar and caffeine.

One more thing… Drinking enough water is really only the first step to adequate hydration. If you aren’t absorbing the water, it won’t be nearly as helpful. To learn about our patented super hydrating iH20 Activation System give me a call or send an email message.

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