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How Do I Stay Hydrated During My Workouts?

Feb 3, 2008
For the body to be able to keep fit and perform better it is essential to have enough bodily fluids.

When a person exercises, the internal body temperature tends to increase and this causes the body to release its internal fluids out through the sweat glands and through the process of respiration. Once this high temperature sweat gets evaporated, it takes the heat with it and the body cools down once again.

Although the internal temperature regulatory system is vital for good health, it is not good to loose too much fluid. High intensity exercise can cause a person to lose up to three quarts or more of fluid per hour. With the loss of bodily fluids, performance also tends to decline.

When the body loses excessive fluids, it can have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and one can suffer from muscle cramps,dizziness and even heat strokes as a result of it.

Health experts recommend that in order to replace the lost water and electrolytes such as sodium and potassium once should consume a sports drink before, during and after a workout. The amount varies depending on a persons weight, their tendency to sweat, the temperature of the environment outside and several other factors.

On an average one should consume roughly 18 ounces a couple of hours before beginning their workout, then another 10 ounces about 15 minutes before starting their warm-up. For every hour that you work out, make sure to consume at least 30 ounces and then another 20 ounces after the workout once you have completed a few minutes of cool down.

One should try and avoid caffeinated drinks prior to the workout as they have a diuretic effect especially while re-hydrating. Even consumption of alcohol for a few hours after the work out is not recommended because it hampers the smooth rate of cool down because the body temperature keeps fluctuating.

Be careful of sports drinks or fruit juices that have a high concentration of sugar. You will end up consuming more calories than what you work so hard to burn and excess sugar can also create an imbalance in the routine cardiovascular process. Also try and avoid soft drinks and diet soft drinks before exercising because they not only contain sugar but also excessive carbon dioxide which is unsuitable for recovery.

Health drinks that help to replace lost minerals such as sodium, potassium and magnesium are ideal for exercise buffs. Sodium and potassium are both essential for proper heart functioning and also help to regulate cellular activity.

Isotonic drinks are an excellent option for those who like to work-out because they are easily absorbed by the body. They also make excellent replacement sources since their composition is quite similar to the body's natural concentrations of the required vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

In short adequate bodily fluids are important to maintain optimal health, avoid medical problems and improve overall performance.
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