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The Importance Of Hydration During Workouts

It’s common knowledge that a person should drink about eight glasses of water each day. However, should this amount be doubled when working out?

A common enemy of sports enthusiasts is dehydration. A person’s performance during sports or when working out decreases even with just a hint of dehydration. Amanda Carlson, a trainer, said that just losing two percent of one’s body weight in fluid can decrease performance by as much as twenty-five percent.

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Hydration during workout is important not just for professional athletes but for individuals who want to get the most out of their exercise. Working out means losing water and not replenishing that amount can lead to feelings of dizziness, lethargy, and cramps.

Water can make it easier for your body to function. Drinking enough water can help minimize the need for the heart to work hard in pumping blood to the body because oxygen and nutrients can be sent more efficiently to the muscles used during workouts.

One problem, though, is that even experienced athletes have difficulty in drinking enough water. It is important to know that hydration should not just be during workouts but before and after it as well.

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It is highly recommended to take a sip of seven to ten ounces of fluid every ten to twenty minutes of exercise to prevent dehydration. Individuals who have longer workouts than an hour each day or those who have an intense workout regimen would need to replenish their electrolytes too.

Electrolytes are nutrients or chemicals in the body that affect major functions such as heartbeat regulation and muscle contraction for ease of movement. Calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and chloride are the major electrolytes found in the body.

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Calcium helps with muscle contractions, nerve signaling, blood clotting, cell division, and in the formation of bones and teeth. Potassium helps keep blood pressure levels stable, regulate heart contractions as well as with muscle functions.

Magnesium is necessary for muscle contractions, proper heart rhythms, nerve functioning, bone building and strength, decreasing anxiety, digestion, and in keeping a stable protein-fluid balance. Chloride helps maintain fluid balance as well as sodium, which is also needed for muscle contractions and nerve signaling.

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During workouts, the loss of electrolytes in the body can be replenished with the intake of a sports drink or electrolyte enhanced water. It is also important to be cautious of overhydration which can lead to hypoatremia a condition characterized by excess water in the body that dilutes the sodium content in the blood.

Nausea, headaches, confusion, and fatigue are some of the symptoms of hypoatremia. In severe cases, it can even lead to coma and death.

If you prefer sports drink, check the label to see whether it can provide enough electrolytes for your body during workout. The best amount is fourteen grams of carbohydrates, which should come from glucose, sucrose, and/or fructose, twenty eight milligrams of potassium, and one hundred milligrams of sodium per eight ounce serving.

One day before working out, one should drink extra water and check the color of one’s urine. Ideally, it should be pale yellow since it means that one is properly hydrated.

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On the day of your exercise, you should drink two eight ounce cups of water two hours beforehand. This would provide your kidneys with enough time to digest the fluid and give you time to empty your bladder before starting your exercise.

Thirty minutes before actually starting your regimen, drink another five to ten ounces of water. An ounce of fluid is equal to a medium mouthful of water.

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Check your weight before and after exercise to know how much water you should take during your workout. Ideally, for every pound lost during activity, one should drink an additional sixteen ounce of fluid.

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Once you have finished your workout, check how many pounds you lost and drink another twenty four ounce of fluid. In case you actually gained weight, you may have overhydrated and should remember to drink less water in the future.