To put it simply, hydration is very important for your body before, during, and after your workout. Nothing will drain you faster than when you carry out your fitness routine on a “dry stomach.” After all, your muscles are 75 percent water!
For each 1 percent of body weight that is lost due to dehydration, your performance suffers by 2 percent. Losing just 2 percent of your body's water weight results in the following:
That’s not what peak performance looks like, does it? Of course not! So how much fluid do you really need and what should your drink look like? What do you need to know when it comes to workout hydration? To make it easy for you, I’ll list the 5 reasons why fluid intake is key to your optimal performance and health.
1. Energy boost: When you’re dehydrated, you’ll often feel tired or unmotivated. This is caused by a drop in your blood pressure. When this happens, your heart is working overtime to keep your system oxygenated and functioning. The blood doesn’t reach your brain as quickly which contributes to that tired feeling you get. Drink some water for a little pep in your step!
2. Muscle Repair: Hydration is essential for protein synthesis. When you work out, tiny microscopic tears form on and within your muscles. But don’t be alarmed. This is completely normal! After these rips occur, your muscle is rebuilt via protein synthesis which is dependent on your hydration level. Now get big and go home with a nice jug of water!
3. Injury Prevention: Science has shown that even a small amount of fluid loss (3 to 4 percent) can increase your risk of injury. Having water before exercise can provide you with an extra pump and decrease the time you need to recover between sets.
4. Warm or Cold, doesn't Matter: Contrary to popular belief, your body doesn’t absorb warmer liquid easier than cold ones. Breathe easy knowing that any temperature is the best temperature… Unless it’s hot outside. Drinking cooler water can keep your core body temperature down, and the fire in your belly alive so you can push yourself up and onward.
5. Carb Up: Carbohydrates are great for energy, stamina, concentration, and recovery. You can eat some before your workout (~25 grams 1 ½ - 2 hours before) for that extra boost but don’t worry about including carbs in your drink if you’re working out for less than 60 minutes. For any time longer, you’ll want to pack an extra Gatorade or another carb-filled drink.
Remember, when you’re thirsty, it may already be too late! You should always try to keep your fluid intake consistent across the board. This means that you shouldn’t wait until your tank is empty before filling it all the way up again. You should drink about 8 cups of water per day and about 1 cup of water every 20 minutes during your workout to achieve maximum fighting power.
Water bottle bottoms up!
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