Taking the right amount of fluids on board is essential for effective recovery from a workout. It’s something that may get forgotten in the hustle and bustle of your exercise or working day, so here are some pointers to remember.
It can take time for fluids to be absorbed into your body. So our suggestion would be to drink steadily during the day and aim to drink around 500ml of fluid in the two to four hours before you start your exercise. This will help boost performance levels and also the all-important recovery phase.
Whether you’re a serious athlete or simply exercise for recreation, it’s really important that you stay hydrated. For us, good hydration means getting the right amount of water before, during, and crucially after exercise. Boost workout hydration is an area where people tend to forget and not focus on as much as they could.
Water helps to regulate your body temperature and lubricates all your joints. It helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you’re not hydrated, your body can’t perform at its highest level. You may feel tired, have muscle cramps, dizziness, or other serious symptoms.
The minimum recommended intake of liquids per day for adults is 2 litres, but your body will need to consume more when you are exercising or on very warm days for example. To give you an idea and to be more precise, you should drink 4-6 ounces for every 15 minutes of exercise.
Can I check my own hydration levels?
Yes, we all can. A simple and sure way to make sure you’re properly hydrated is to check your urine. If your urine is usually colorless or light yellow, you are most likely well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber-colored urine can be one sign of dehydration and that you need to get some water into you!
What about sports drinks?
For most people, water is all that is needed to stay hydrated. However, if you will be exercising at a high intensity for longer than say 60 minutes, a sports drink can be helpful for sure. The calories, potassium, and other nutrients that come from sports drinks can provide energy and electrolytes to help you perform for a longer period of time as well as helping you to stay hydrated.
If you do not have a drink handy on your journeys, particularly when driving, why not give it a try? Keeping your drink within arm’s reach at work ought to keep you well hydrated throughout the day. Caffeine is a very good stimulant, but don’t depend on your cuppa to quench your thirst. Caffeine is a diuretic substance, which increases the need to pass urine – making you thirsty all over again.
When to drink?
Where possible, you should take a drink before you become truly thirsty. Your body water composition can drop by several cups worth if you wait too long between consuming fluids. Also, a warm bottle of water has been proven to be more difficult for your body to absorb, so keep your drinks cool! Giving in to your food cravings can spoil your plans to exercise on a schedule or cut back on snacks. Perhaps you should take a drink at these moments – studies have shown consuming water can cut your appetite between meals.
For the outdoor enthusiast who can do without hauling cumbersome bottles around, most good sports stores will stock hydration packs. These come in a range of sizes and styles, so joggers, cyclists and hikers can all avail of hands-free hydration.
Do you have your own tips for regular liquid consumption? Let us know!