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The Importance of Hydration During Exercise

We all know how important exercise is. Staying fit and physically active will benefit our health and reduce the risk of many diseases. It will also boost our mood and improve our mental wellbeing in general. However, one thing people often neglect during a workout is proper hydration. This can happen for various reasons. Some people simply forget about it. Sometimes, people think that the workout isn’t intense or long enough to demand making breaks for water intake. Whatever the reason, hydration is essential! Not only before or after the exercise but during the workout session, too! After all, water makes for about 60% of our organism. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of hydration during exercise.

Why do you need to rehydrate during the exercise?

Fluids make the most of our bodies, and they are necessary for proper functioning. Water helps us to maintain a healthy heart and brain but also muscles. It also enables our bodies to detox and regulates body temperature. Additionally, proper hydration facilitates weight loss, improves digestion, and helps us sleep better. Whether you prefer going to the gym or working out in your dorm room, one thing remains the same. During exercise, we sweat a lot and lose water. That’s why replenishing our water resources is the key to a healthy and effective workout routine.

A girl making a break and holding a water bottle because she knows hydration during exercise is important

What are the symptoms of dehydration?

Lack of water can cause many problems. The first and the most obvious one is dehydration. It doesn’t sound too dangerous. However, it is very harmful and can have severe consequences. Dehydration can cause heat exhaustion and heatstroke. It can also lead to muscle fatigue or even breakdown of skeletal muscle. So, it’s better to prevent it by drinking enough fluids during exercise.

Apart from being thirsty, there are several signs that you’re most likely dehydrated. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it means you should drink some water as soon as possible:

  • dry mouth
  • dizziness
  • clammy skin
  • nausea
  • headache
  • elevated heart rate
  • shortness of breath.

Tips for proper water intake during exercise

Staying fit and healthy can be pretty challenging for students. There is a lot of work to do. You need to attend lectures, study, and do projects. It all requires a lot of time, energy, and effort. So, fitting regular workouts into the schedule can be difficult. And monitoring and controlling your water intake only add to all the things you need to do! Luckily, here are some valuable tips to help you incorporate proper hydration into your workout schedule.

#1 Have a good start

Always start your exercise routine well hydrated. That will help you maintain fluid levels during the exercise and replenish water easily. Not to mention it will help you prevent dehydration.

#2 Make a plan

Depending on your schedule, devise a plan for proper hydration during workout. To do this effectively, ask yourself a few crucial questions. How intense is your workout? Do you sweat much? How long is your exercise session? The longer and more intense your workout, the more breaks and water you need.

a man drinking water after running

#3 Ensure you have a source of water near you

Whether you exercise indoors or outdoors, ensure you have enough water near you. It can be a large water bottle you carry with you, tap water, or even a fountain. How much water you’ll need will depend on your fluid deficit after the workout.

You can find this information by monitoring your weight immediately after you finish exercising. Ideally, you should replace 125-150% fluid deficit during the exercise and 2 to 6 hours after.

#4 Use an app

If you keep forgetting to drink water during exercise, many apps can assist you. Apps such as Daily Water Tracker Reminder, Aqualert, Hydro Coach, and many others are designed to help you monitor and regulate your water intake.

You can set goals or calculate appropriate amounts based on your body weight. These apps will send you reminders to drink water during exercise. They’ll also be helpful throughout the day. Additionally, you can check graphs and follow your progress over time.

Building healthy habits

Using the tips mentioned above can help you develop positive routines regarding hydration. Another way to embrace good habits is to properly manage your time. This is not always an easy thing to do! However, developing healthy eating, drinking, exercising, and sleeping habits is crucial to one’s mental and physical health.

Of course, it may seem like a chore at first. However, once you get accustomed to a healthy lifestyle routine, you’ll notice tremendous benefits. For example, you’ll be in a better mood, feel more motivated and focused, and you’ll have more energy! Starting small is an excellent step towards a happier and more fulfilling lifestyle.

How can hydration during exercise help you achieve better results?

Lastly, drinking enough water during exercise will help you maximize the effects and accomplish your workout goals faster. On the other hand, even a minor fluid loss is likely to significantly diminish your performance. We spend a lot of our resources during workouts, and the body needs time and nutrients to recover. Water helps to transport nutrients your body needs. In addition to speeding up the recovery process, good hydration will facilitate weight loss and make your workouts more effective.

a girl exercising on the mat

Water or sports drinks?

This is a common dilemma when it comes to hydration during a workout. Which is better: water or sports drinks? In most cases, the answer is going to be water. For low-intensity or short exercise sessions, the answer is the same. However, if you’re a professional athlete or prefer long, intense workouts, you might want to add sports drinks to your fluid intake. But, be sure not to go overboard!

The bottom line

As you may see, hydration during exercise is critical. Drinking enough water during a workout enhances its effectiveness and improves our performance. Not to mention all the other benefits water has for physical and mental health. Incorporating this simple habit into your workout routine will lead to a happier and healthier lifestyle.

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