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Hydration During Workouts: The Importance

We’ve all heard it before: a person should be able to consume eight glasses of water every day. However, when working out, should an individual’s intake of water be double the amount?

A common enemy of sports enthusiasts is dehydration. One’s ability to perform when doing sports or during a workout can decline with even just a hint of dehydration. According to Amanda Carlson, a trainer, the loss of just two percent of one’s body weight in fluid can lessen performance by as much as twenty five percent.

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Hydration during workout is imperative not just for athletes but for everyone to get the most out of their exercise regimen. 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. Hydrating properly can help lessen the need for the heart to work double time in pumping blood to the body because oxygen and other nutrients can be sent more effectively to the muscles used during exercising.

One issue, though, is that even professional athletes find it hard to drink enough water. It is important to take note 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. For those who work out for longer than an hour a day or for those who are taking on a particularly intense workout regimen, electrolytes may need to be replenished too.

Electrolytes are nutrients or chemicals in the body that facilitate in heartbeat regulation and in allowing muscles to contract 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 regulates heart contractions, helps keep blood pressure levels stable, and facilitate 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. Sodium helps maintain fluid balance and is needed for muscle contractions as well as nerve signaling while Chloride also helps with fluid balance.

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The loss of electrolytes during workouts can be remedied by 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. The ideal color is pale yellow, which means that you are 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. One ounce of fluid is equivalent 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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After working out, you should 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.

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