Quick water breaks are a must when you’re working out. Hydrating with clean drinking water helps your body function normally and improves your workout performance. Read on to learn about all the perks of drinking clean water while you work out!
Is Drinking Water During Workouts Important?
Yes, drinking water is essential for a successful workout, and it’s because hydration directly impacts your body during exercise. When you work out, your body becomes active. Your muscles start working, and your heart rate increases. All these activities cause your body to generate heat, and your body tries to lose the excess heat by sweating. Sweating helps you cool down, but it also reduces the amount of water in your body. Unfortunately, the water you’re losing is vital for physiological processes; especially your body’s cooling. So, what happens when you work out is that your body needs more water than usual, but you’re sweating and losing the little you have. At this point, hydration can help you replace the water you’ve lost. If you don’t drink any water, you can become dehydrated.
What Does Dehydration Do to the Body?
Dehydration is the result of losing more fluid than you take in. It’s dangerous to experience, especially when you’re exercising. Tissues, organs, and cells in the body stop functioning because the plasma (which comprises water) is insufficient to supply oxygen. As a result, the heart rate increases since the heart works harder to push blood with oxygen to organs. This leads to a rise in body temperature. Electrolytes that control the body’s processes are also lost.
These are some signs you may experience when you’re dehydrated:
- Dry mouth and nasal passages
- Dark colored urine
- Increased thirst
- Decreased urination
- Mood swings
- Reduced stamina
- Muscle cramps and weakness
- Dizziness and hallucination
Signs of severe dehydration may include:
- Low blood pressure
- No sweat production
- Excessive thirst
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Dry or shriveled skin
- Excessive thirst
Can I Hydrate with Something Other Than Water?
Water will always be the best option for hydration. It’s absorbed quickly and readily replaces lost fluids. However, fruits, vegetables, or drinks with high percentages of water can be used as substitutes. Sports drinks are also a popular option. Some people think taking them will help with performance and hydration during workouts. But while sports drinks can compensate for your electrolyte loss, they aren’t necessary if you aren’t working out for more than an hour.
Drinks you should avoid while working out include juice or soft drinks that contain more carbohydrates than sodium. Coffee is also bad since it will cause you to lose more fluids by urinating often.
How Much Water Is Recommended During Exercise?
The amount of water you’re required to drink depends on factors such as clothing, body type, environment, health, and exercise intensity. So, it will differ for each person. For example, if you sweat heavily, you might need to drink more water than others to compensate for fluid losses. You also need to avoid getting over-hydrated, so you must carefully regulate the amount of water you drink.
The trick is to drink at least 20 ounces of water three to four hours before your workout. Then take small gulps of water (around 7 to 10 ounces) every few minutes during your workout. Lastly, drink at least 10 ounces of water after your workout session. This practice should keep you sufficiently hydrated and at optimal performance while exercising.
Does My Water Have to Be Purified Before Drinking?
It’s not enough for you to prioritize drinking water before, during, and after a workout. You also have to make sure it’s clean. Getting a waterborne or water-related disease is just as detrimental as getting sick due to having an unfit body. Unpurified water can cause many complications for you when it carries toxic chemicals. These chemicals can affect your body and lead to reduced performance in exercise and other activities. Consider using a water filter to remove contaminants.
Also, when you purify your water, you improve its taste, odor, and appearance. This may be a motivation to help you to drink water more often.
What Contaminants Should I Look Out for in Water?
There are a wide range of contaminants you can find in your water. However, these are the most common ones:
- Bacteria, viruses, or protozoa
- Volatile organic compounds
- Chlorine and chloramines
- Fluoride and nitrates
- Fertilizers, pesticides, and pharmaceutical products
- Radioactive elements
- Heavy metals like arsenic, chromium, manganese, copper, and lead
Lead is one of the most common and dangerous metals found in water. One of the reasons it’s so dangerous is that it’s hard to tell what lead in water looks like. As a result, most people don’t even know it’s in their water unless they are looking for it. Ideally, you get water tests regularly to ensure it is free of these impurities.
Benefits of Drinking Water During Exercise
Drinking water doesn’t only keep you hydrated during a workout. It also comes with other benefits. For example, drinking water will:
- Prevent muscle cramps
- Prevent heat stress
- Reduce the risk of injuries
- Increase stamina
- Help replace any electrolytes or salts lost during sweat
- Help maintain body temperature
- Improve your exercise performance
In summary, you shouldn’t exclude drinking water from your daily workout routine. Staying hydrated will keep you in good shape. It will also significantly improve your exercise results by boosting your energy and keeping you going for longer intervals. Finally, drinking purified water will reduce your risk of waterborne diseases, replenish your body’s minerals, and ultimately contribute to your living a healthier lifestyle.
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