Drink more water when exercising
Health & Beauty
May 12, 2006
Drink more water when exercising

Dehydration (lack of water) can cause headaches, digestive problems, dry skin and even kidney stones. Every part of the body needs water to work properly, but water is particularly important for keeping the kidneys healthy.

Many people get dehydrated without even realising it. Thirst is slow to develop, so persons may not even feel thirsty, or they may confuse it with hunger. Many times when we think our body is asking for food, what it really needs is water.{{more}}

Dehydration often occurs because the person does not drink enough water. Other causes of dehydration include an excess consumption of caffeine (which has a diuretic effect causing fluid loss from the body) in coffee, cola and alcohol, and long hours spent in dry environments such as offices with air conditioning systems and lots of electrical equipment.

To prevent dehydration, you should drink at least eight glasses of good quality water every day. This amount should be increased when exercising and on hot days or if you’ve been sweating excessively (for example, due to nervousness).

Herbal (non-diuretic) teas, low-sugar beverages and milk are also good sources of fluid for your body. Fruit juices are okay unless they have added sugar. However, drinking water is by far the best way to hydrate your body.

As well as keeping you hydrated, water is a powerful cleanser – many toxins are flushed from the body in urine.

You know you are getting enough water if your urine is very light colored (almost clear, like lemonade) and you are urinating more frequently than you are used to. If your urine is bright yellow, you are not drinking enough water.

During one hour of vigorous exercise, how much does the average person sweat?

A. One tablespoon

B. One cup

C. One pint

D. One quart

Answer: (D)

As you can see, exercise saps a lot of water from our bodies. That’s why it’s very important to drink even more water while exercising. However, drinking water before and after exercise is just as important.

Start paying attention to your fluid intake 2-3 hours before you are going to exercise. Drink 2-3 cups of water during that time, and then drink another cup immediately before you start exercising.

Without this extra water, your muscles will become dehydrated. Muscle movement depends on how hydrated you are, so if they are dry, they will not work as well. As a result, your workout will not be as productive as you would like.

Once you start exercising, keep drinking water frequently. A good rule of thumb is to drink one cup every 15-20 minutes. Keep a water bottle with you. Take breaks to head to the water cooler. Do what it takes to keep yourself hydrated.

Even when you are done exercising, you need to keep replenishing your fluid levels. It’s recommended you drink another 2-3 cups within two hours after you have finished. Then drink water regularly afterwards.

The more you drink before, during, and after exercise, the more productive your workout will be. Do your body a favour and replenish that quart of fluids your body is losing while you work out. Your muscles will thank you later.