Hydration: The Game-Changer For Exercise
While you’re running on that treadmill or picking up those dumbbells, you’re not exactly thinking of how much water you’ve been drinking. Whether you’re a serious athlete, or simply exercise for a healthy lifestyle, it is crucial to stay hydrated. You should be drinking water before, during, and even after your workout.
Without hydration, your body cannot perform at its optimal level. Here are a few things to consider:
What Happens During Dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you drink. When your body does not have enough water, it can no longer work properly. Dehydration can occur due to low water intake, diarrhea, sweating, and in this case, exercising. Typically, your body has the ability to reabsorb fluid from your blood. Yet, when you are severely dehydrated, your body no longer has enough fluid in your body to get blood to your organs, potentially causing you to go into shock.
Symptoms of dehydration include the following:
- Quick heart rate
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lack of sweating
- Mental confusion
- Loss of consciousness, in severe cases
Perks of the H2O
If the feeling of cooling your body, and quenching your thirst isn’t good enough, staying hydrated has many other benefits. Drinking water may boost your metabolism. As your body has to work in order to warm up the water, you will be burning some extra calories in the process.
If you are drinking enough, your heart will not need to work as hard to pump blood. Bottom line, drinking water is magic for the heart. Another great advantage to drinking water is your digestion. If you ate something before your workout, and don’t want to feel heavy, water will help pass waste in your body.
Dehydration and Performance
As dehydration gradually increases, there is a progressive reduction in your mental and physical performance. Your heart rate and body temperature will begin to increase, and the exercise will be perceived as more difficult. 1 dehydration of greater than 2 percent loss of your body weight will increase the chances of nausea, vomiting, and even gastrointestinal issues during exercise.
Ever feel bloated during exercise? This may be because dehydration lowers the percentage of fluid absorption from the intestines, making it harder to reverse the fluid deficiency.
The point- Drink up!
Can You Drink Too Much?
If you took the whole drinking water too seriously, it may be dangerous. For example, in cool weather or when exercise is not too strenuous, sweat loss may not be too great. If you are drinking water that is more than your sweat loss rate, this may be an issue. Overhydration during exercise can cause hyponatremia or the thinning of blood sodium levels. Such symptoms include disorientation, headaches, and in very serious cases, death. Although overhydration can happen, it is quite rare. Dehydration occurs a lot more often, and taking preventative measures is essential.
It is difficult to be drinking water at all times of the day, especially when exercising. It is important to remember all the advantages of drinking water and to take precautions when sweating excessively so that you do not lose too many fluids. Dehydration should be taken very seriously and should be implemented whether you’re doing cardio, lifting weights, or taking a Zumba class.
January 5, 2018 4:57 pm