Keeping Hydrated when Exercising

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Often many of us do not stick to our daily recommended water intake, for many reasons. Sometimes, we just get so distracted that we forget or we are too busy drinking tea to squeeze in the odd glass of water. Whilst this is a common problem, it is not a particularly healthy habit to get in to.

Water is the most important nutrient for us, and has many important functions including regulating temperature, lubricating joints and transporting nutrients and waste throughout the body.

The importance of staying hydrated is huge, however, when exercising regularly (which you should be doing do decrease your stress levels, might we add) hydration plays an even bigger role in our health. It is vital that you replace fluids lost when exercising, for not only performance reasons but also for comfort and safety.

You NEED to drink the right kind of fluids, especially when you are exercising for a longer amount of time than usual or more intensely. It has been proven that if you were to lose only 2% of your body weight through sweating you would get a drop in blood volume which causes the heart to work harder and circulate blood. This drop in blood volume, can lead to; muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue, and can be even as serious as causing heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Common causes of dehydration:

-Inadequate fluid intake

-Excessive sweating

-Failure to replace fluid losses during and after exercise

-Exercising in dry, hot weather

-Drinking only when thirsty

Tip 1: Drinking fluids with electrolytes and carbohydrates can help to sustain performance during exercise.

 

Tip 2: Sodium also helps to stimulate thirst.

 

Tip 3: Carbohydrates are needed for energy when exercising more than 60-90 minutes e.g. can be absorbed from bars and other foods.

 

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