New research suggests that it may be harder to determine your hydration levels than originally thought. When allowed to drink freely (no drinking schedule), nearly 40% of collegiate athletes finished their workouts in a dehydrated state. Luckily, with the rise of technology in nearly every facet of our lives, there are more tools than ever to help us stay hydrated while pushing our bodies to the limit. With all the focus being put on the impressive new devices and workout gadgets on the market today, it’s important remember that while these fancy tools can certainly help, even simple methods of staying hydrated can help keep you healthy.
Simple Technology is Smart Technology
As it turns out, all the technology in the world cannot benefit us as much as water can. Without proper hydration, your workout/sports performance will suffer. It’s common to experience dizziness, cramping, headaches, and confusion while dehydrated, but often times you may not experience severe symptoms at all. This is where technology can help. Devices that check your vital signs can warn you if you need more water, and simpler tools like reusable water bottles and camel packs now allow you to easily bring your water wherever you go. Many bottles today even offer features that can keep the contents cooler for long periods of time, help cut down on the overuse of plastic, and help filter/remove harmful chemicals found in many mainstream water supplies.
Apps that Keep You Coming Back For More
One of the hardest parts of getting hydrated is sticking to a drinking schedule, even when you don’t feel thirsty. Most people think that as long as they bring a bit of water and keep the palette wet, they’ll be fine. But even if you aren’t thirsty, you can still get dehydrated. For reasons like this, it’s important to have some education on health and fitness before making a significant exercise commitment.
Instead of shelling out hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on a personal trainer, getting proper and consistent health advice can be accessed right from your phone. There’s an endless number of apps and downloadable content that help you design a proper hydration and workout routine. It will know how strenuous your exercise was, warn you if you’re a risk of dehydration, and it’ll know if you decided to skip a day (or three). Some apps can even learn how to tailor specific workouts to your own anatomy – thus providing a workout routine that will maximize how it benefits you.
Don’t Get Too Caught Up in the Hype
While all this new exercise technology is a great way to get more Americans active, there is also a downside. It can become easy to forget that the reason for working out is to be healthy. At the end of the day, no one truly needs fancy technology to stay hydrated or get into shape. Using a workout app should be seen as a tool, not a necessity.
Much of the technology we use on a daily basis can become tremendously addictive, and workout apps/gear are no different. Over-exercise can actually do more harm than good, and finding the right balance between dedication and dependence isn’t always easy. Ensuring you stay properly hydrated isn’t rocket science – routine and paying attention to your body are the two most important things you can do to stay hydrated. So be aware of how much you’re relying on workout tech, and don’t hesitate to take a break if you find yourself becoming too dependent on it.
Using technology to supplement the workout experience and to stay hydrated can help transform your health for the better. But keeping in mind the dangers this same technology poses is just as important as the workout itself. Learning how to use these advancements in avoiding dehydration can increase the quality of your workouts, and put you on a path to becoming the healthiest possible version of yourself.
Contributed by Jess Walter