Those of us who like to exercise are always looking for ways to optimize our workouts. Getting enough sleep time and fueling up with nutritious food are some of the habits that can ensure we don’t burn out after exercising. Hydrating properly is also essential. As the saying goes, “there is no life without water.”
Studies have shown that keeping hydrated is necessary to maintaining overall good health, by regulating body temperature, preventing muscle soreness and fatigue, and improving digestive functioning, among other benefits. During exercise specifically, regularly drinking water helps improve performance, extend endurance, and increase energy levels.
Hydrating Before Exercise
The next time you want to start a workout, try replacing your coffee with water. Although stimulants like coffee can make you more alert, they also contribute to dehydration and stomach upset, which will ultimately hinder your comfort and performance.
If you’re preparing for a long run, race, or high intensity training, get some extra hydration in than you normally would the day before. A good indicator is if your urine is pale yellow, so keep monitoring the quantity and quality of your urine to adjust your water intake as needed. On the day of, drink two cups of water (about 237 ml or 8 oz) two hours before your big workout, to allow time for your kidneys and bladder to process and empty the liquid.
A good idea would be to do a sort of rehearsal for your big workout day to figure out exactly what your body needs. Let’s say that in preparation, you do a 60-minute training session. You weigh yourself after and realize you lost about half a kilogram (1 pound). Now for the math:
Each 0.5 kg lost = 16 oz (473 ml) of additional water intake, so about 3.75 oz (110 ml) every 15 minutes.
Aim to vary your post-workout drinks. You can have a drink of electrolytes to prevent cramping, a protein shake, unprocessed vegan cacao, or green juice without added sugar. It’s important to note that thirst is not an adequate measure of dehydration levels. According to a 2011 study, “mild to moderate levels of dehydration persist for some hours after the conclusion of physical activity,” so aim to hydrate at regular intervals even after your thirst feels quenched.
A Note on Over-Hydration
Although rare, it is possible to overly hydrate; the condition is called hyponatremia. This happens when you consume more water than you lose, which causes low levels of sodium in the body and cells swell up. Symptoms may include bloating, nausea, a feeling of disorientation, and headache. If you begin to feel any of these symptoms while hydrating during exercise, seek urgent medical advice.
A word from LOCH
LOCH reusable water bottles are the perfect antidote to dehydration during exercise. With five-layer insulation including a copper layer and powder coat finish, you can rest assured that your drink will remain cold and tasty during your high-intensity workouts. Conceived with sustainability, health, and convenience in mind, LOCH eco-friendly bottles ensure you’re able to reduce your carbon footprint and look stylish doing it. Choose among a variety of sizes, colors, and lid shapes, and pair your bottle with an ethically sourced vegan leather strap for hands-free handling. Visit loch.life/shop to find your perfect combo!