Importance of Hydration Before, During, and After a Workout

A lot of people are not aware of the importance of staying properly hydrated. The benefits drinking enough water can have on our overall health, fitness & weight loss is incredible. No matter if you are a serious athlete or do simple exercise for recreation and staying fit, it is essential to stay properly hydrated. Good hydration means drinking enough water before, during, & after a workout. Water helps in regulating the body temperature & lubricates the joints.

Importance of hydration during exercise
Fig: Importance of hydration during exercise

And also aids in transporting the essential nutrients throughout the body that supplies us energy for performing any task & keeping healthy. Dehydration drops your body to poor performance. Tiredness, muscle cramps, dizziness are some common symptoms of dehydration.

One of the simplest ways of checking whether you are properly hydrated or not is to check the urine. If it is colorless or a light place, then you are hydrated. Saturated yellow or darker color urine is the indication of dehydration. For more fitness information and facts click here.

Why is Drinking Water During Exercise Important?

Almost 60% of the human body is made up of water, it plays a vital role in regulating our bodily function. During exercise, you lose a lot of fluid. A one-hour session of moderate-intensity exercise can make you lose a liter or two – mainly by sweating & breathing. So, drinking water while exercising is necessary.

Not topping your fluid can cause dehydration Which affects both the general health & and your performance during the exercise. Dehydration can leave you tired more quickly and also your body temperature will get out of your hands. Drinking water fuels the muscles boosts energy and prevents cramps. That is why pre, post, and during workout hydration is important. It is funny to see that many people show up in the gym without carrying a water bottle along. Your water bottle is equally important as your workout clothes are.

Pre-Workout Hydration:

Proper hydration helps you in getting the best of your workout. The point that is important here is how much water you should drink before your workout activity? Measuring water intake can be critical. Lack of hydration can cause your body to compromise on its performance.

Determining your pre-workout hydration needs depends on several factors such as surrounding temperature, humidity, your sweat rate & the time length for which you are performing the activity.

These are the guidelines from American Council on pre-workout water intake. ·        

  • You should drink up to 17-20 ounces of water two to three before your workout.
  • Drink 8 ounces of water 20-30 mins before the workout or during the warm-up session

This water intake is essential for sports athletes, especially if they are practicing preseason workouts. Measuring the fluid loss in every session is a good indication of the fluid needs of your body. It can be simply done by stepping on the scale before & after every workout session, the weight loss in the amount of water your body has lost during the activity. It is recommended for athletes to take 16-24 ounces of water for each pound lost during the workout activity. Replacing the fluid lost during the activity is important. Not doing so can lead to dehydration. Sports drinks are also helpful in compensating for the water loss for prolonged periods like an hour or two also replenishes the electrolytes. Make sure the drink you are taking does not contain a saturated amount of sugar.

During Workout Hydration:

There are no hard and fast rules about how much water you should drink while working out because this need varies from person to person. However, some factors such as your sweat rate, heat & humidity, and the duration of your workout help in determining that.

American Council on Exercise suggests the following guidelines for water intake drinking exercise:

You should drink up to 7-10 ounces of water every 10-20 minutes during your workout. Measuring the fluid loss rate can also help in determining the amount of water you should drink during your workout.

Post-workout Hydration:

Once you’re done with your workout session, without any doubt your body will crave something to drink. Not that it will refresh you but refilling your water stocks will restore the fluids level & help with muscle recovery. The sooner you will replace the fluids, the sooner you will start to recover. American Council on Exercise suggests the following guidelines for water intake after your exercise session.

You should drink 8 ounces of water within 30 minutes after you are done exercising. Rewarding yourself with a glass of wine can be tempting but do not do this. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it extracts the water from the body by increasing the production of urine.

How Helpful Sports Drinks Are?

For a lot of people, water can be everything they need for staying properly hydrated. But if you usually perform high-intensity workouts for longer time intervals sports drinks can help replenish your water needs. The calories, electrolytes, and nutrients these sports contain refuel your body. Make sure you choose your sports to drink wisely. They often have high calories & sugar content. Also, keep a check on the serving size you are taking. A bottle might contain more than one serving. Drink the whole bottle and double or triple the amounts written on the nutrition facts label. Most sports drinks have caffeine. If you are taking them, be careful about adding the amount of caffeine to the diet. Because consuming caffeine causes a diuretic effect on the body.

Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration:

Dehydration causes apparent symptoms in the body. Those symptoms should be monitored and taken seriously as they can lead to major health issues. If any of those symptoms show up

remove from the activity immediately. Most of these symptoms disappear by drinking water and cooling down body temperature. The most common symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Dizziness/lightheadedness,
  • Tiredness,
  • Muscle cramps,
  • Dry mouth,
  • Rapid heartbeat,
  • Nausea/vomiting,
  • Dry skin (reduced or no sweating).

Severe dehydration can cause muscle weakness, loss of consciousness, and mental confusion.

Tips That Can Help in Staying Hydrated:

Follow the following simple tips for staying hydrated throughout the day.

  • Consume water with each meal. Consider placing a water jug or bottle on the table with every meal you take.
  • Develop a habit of drinking a glass of water before going to bed & do the same thing in the morning.
  • Carry a water bottle throughout the day.
  • Keep a record of how much water you are drinking. Install an app or water bottle that indicates the amount of water you take. Set goals for yourself.
  • Do not take too much plain water to infuse it with added fresh fruit for the flavor it can be highly refreshing as well.
  • Whenever you are feeling hungry take a glass of water & wait for 15 minutes. A lot of time we confuse hunger with thirst.
  • Take fruit & vegetables that have a high water content in them.
  • Sports drinks can also be a good option. They are usually beneficial with high-intensity training. Make your choice wisely.

Nothing can beat the refreshment that H2O offers to your body. Reach for a cool glass of water before the body warns you!

Can You Take Too Much Water?

Taking too much water can be harmful but it is a highly unlikely condition. It is called hyponatremia. It occurs when your fluid intakes cross the fluid loss and needs. The excess amount of water starts diluting your body salts that cause the swelling of your cells. Which further leads to several problems.

The symptoms of hyponatremia vary from person to person. Some of the common symptoms are

  • Headache,
  • Feeling bloated,
  • Feeling sick or vomiting,
  • Feeling confused or disoriented.

In the worst-case scenario, hyponatremia can cause seizures, loss of consciousness, or even death. Immediate help should be sought if any of the symptoms appear.

3 thoughts on “Importance of Hydration Before, During, and After a Workout”

  1. Brisbane hot and cold water dispenser

    It’s no secret that not drinking enough water can have a negative impact on health, in both the short and long term.

  2. Eli Richardson

    It really helped what you mentioned about energy drinks and how they help hydrate your body after a hard workout. Last week, my brother and I increased our workout routine’s difficulty, and it feels like my body isn’t getting all the nutrients it needs, so I’ll look into finding an energy drink. Thanks for the information on how often we need to hydrate while working out.

  3. Yes, you’re right—to survive dehydration during exercise, you need to drink lots of water or alkaline water. But I’ve noticed that other people in the gym don’t drink much water after their reps.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top