Water is something every human being needs in their daily diet. Water is essential for our survival, it is a chemical component that makes up 70% of our total body weight. Unfortunately, water is also easily taken for granted. And even though water is almost everywhere, staying well hydrated is still a difficult task for the vast majority of people. But, staying hydrated needs to be a priority, especially if you’re working out regularly. Let’s see how important water really is, especially during exercise.Where does the water go?
Every day we lose a couple of cups of water just by breathing. The lungs need humid air to work. Then, we also lose water through urination and during exercise. When these are all added up, it’s easy to see why you need to drink up and replenish the fluid. Our bodies perspire in order to cool down during exertion; actually, our bodies lose several liters of water during a one-hour period of working out. Fail to replace the water and you’ll face dehydration. On top of that, water isn’t the only nutrient that we lose when exercising. Through sweat we also lose sodium and potassium. Those can be a concern during longer periods of exertion (such as a marathon).Dehydration and what it means to us
As we’ve said, failing to replenish your body with water leads to dehydration. And if you think that skipping your water intake isn’t a problem, you are wrong. Dehydration occurs when you ignore your hydration needs. It results in a loss of coordination, muscle fatigue and heat illness (think confusion, cramps and exhaustion). Of course, we need water for the body temperature regulation, so that is something to bear in mind too. Not only do all these things impair your athletic performance, but they also impair your health severely. So, bear this in mind the next time you decide to leave that all-too-important water bottle before going for a jog. The consequences can be really bad.Hydration: when/how/where
According to numerous fitness professionals and the American College of Sports Medicine, an average gym-goer needs to drink water before, during and after the workout in order to maintain a level of healthy hydration. When translated into tangible figures, you need to aim at 17 to 20 ounces a couple of hours before your workout and then 8 ounces 20 to 30 minutes before you start. When things get sweaty and intense, drink up 7 to 10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes of the exercise and then cool down with 8 ounces within at least half an hour after the workout. To make life easier for you, there are good water bottles with measurement markings that can help you throughout the process.Athletes beware!
Considering that most fitness aficionados exercise for more than 60 minutes per workout, it is important to bear this in mind – a swig of water won’t be enough to keep your body in the optimal state. As mentioned, our bodies lose sodium and potassium as well as water. And this shortage can lead to confusion, muscle cramps and even water intoxication. Water intoxication occurs when there is too much water in the body and not enough sodium. So, athletes, bear in mind that while sports drinks are not necessary for easy workouts, long-distance running and sports games require an electrolyte-based sports drink after an hour. And there is no doubt about it. Yes, water is important, but chugging water and only water sometimes won’t do the trick.Conclusion
Now that you’re aware of how important water is, it’s your turn to fill up that bottle and hydrate your body. Remember, without water you do not only impair your performance, but you also potentially harm your health. And no athlete wants that to happen. So, drink up!
Luke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.