Whether you come into our health club in Burlington to exercise for recreation or you’re a serious athlete, it’s important to stay hydrated. The old adage of “8 glasses a day” is a good start, but it may not be enough if you’re exercising.
Hydration means ensuring you drink the right amount of water for your body’s needs before, during, and after exercise. However, good hydration also means ensuring you continue to drink fluids throughout the day.
Why Does Hydration Matter?
Drinking plenty of water offers a range of health benefits, but it’s especially important when you’re working out. Water helps regulate your body temperature and keep you cool.
Hydration also helps lubricate your joints and ensures your body is able to transport nutrients around your system to supply energy and fuel your muscles as you exercise.
When you’re not drinking enough water, your body isn’t able to perform at its best. Even mild dehydration can cause muscle cramps, lethargy and fatigue, headache, fast heartbeat, and lightheadedness.
How Much Water Do You Need?
There aren’t any precise rules about how much water you should drink when you’re exercising, simply because everyone’s body is different. However, there are some basic guidelines supplied by the American Council on Exercise.
As a basic rule of thumb, most people should drink about 15 ounces of water around 2 hours before heading into Womens Fitness Club of Canada in Burlington. Around 20 minutes before you begin your workout and through your warm-up routine, try to drink another 8 ounces of water.
For every 15 minutes of exercise you do, try to drink another 7 to 10 ounces of water.
It’s also important to take into account a range of factors that could affect the amount you need to drink. Remember that the amount you should drink may change, depending on how much you sweat during your workout, how long you plan to exercise, and how warm the temperature is on the day.
What Fluids Affect Your Hydration Levels?
In most cases, drinking water is sufficient for keeping your body hydrated before, during and after your workout. Sometimes sports drinks can help boost your body’s sugar and sodium levels and replenish your electrolytes. Coconut water and unsweetened juice can also be great options throughout the day.
However, there are some drinks that could affect your hydration levels. Try to avoid drinks that contain caffeine, as they may have a diuretic effect. Alcohol has the same effect.
The next time you head into our Burlington health club, be sure you are well-hydrated. We even offer our members lemon infused water to help!