Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or simply exercising recreationally, it’s important to stay hydrated. Proper hydration means getting the right amount of water before, during and after exercise. Proper hydration ensures nutrients are transported to give you enough energy and keep you healthy. In any fitness journey, there are certain elements you cannot negate, and water is one of those factors.
There are common misconceptions about when, how much and how often you should be drinking when you are exercising. Here are a few of the common questions and answers about fitness and hydration;
How much water should you be drinking during exercise?
While there is no general amount, you should consider factors such as your sweat rate, the heat and humidity you are exercising in and the amount of time you are exercising. A few basic guidelines to include drinking about 500ml of water 2 to 3 hours before you exercise and drinking about 200ml 20 to 30 minutes before you begin your warm up.
Most times, people forget about drinking water during their exercise, but athletes should try to drink 200 to 500 ml of water every 10 to 20 minutes and ensure that they drink at least 200 ml in the first 30 minutes after exercising. Drinking water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. If you’re not hydrated, your body can’t perform at its highest level. You may feel tired, have muscle cramps, dizziness, or other acute symptoms.
Water vs sports drinks
For most people water is all that is required to stay hydrated, but if you’re planning on exercising for longer than an hour at a high intensity, then you should consider adding a sports drink to your liquid intake. The potassium, calories and other nutrients in a sports drink can provide you with energy and electrolytes that can help you perform for a more extended period.
While sports drinks can be helpful, they can also be harmful if the correct one is not chosen. Sports drinks often contain a high amount of calories from added sugars and carry a high level of sodium. Most sports drinks are not intended as a single serving size, and if incorrectly consumed, it can result in you drinking double the planned amounts given on the nutrition facts label. Most sports drinks contain caffeine and can affect your daily caffeine intake. Excessive amounts of caffeine in your diet can cause a diuretic effect on your body.
When are you drinking too much water
Dependant on your body and the amount of activity you do daily, there is no specific amount per person. If you are drinking excessive amounts of water, and as an athlete, this can happen, you risk water intoxication. Water intoxication or water poisoning is the disruption of your brain functioning because of too much water. Drinking too much water results in too much water in your blood which dilutes the electrolytes in your blood electrolytes, especially sodium.
If sodium levels in your body drop below 135 mmol/L, your body will begin to experience hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is the shifting of fluids from the outside to the inside of your cells causing them to swell.
Making healthy choices
Water is a beautiful performance enhancer and incorporating it into your fitness journey can aid you in achieving your fitness goal. Ensuring that you drink enough water before, during and after you exercise can result in benefits for your both your endurance and overall health. To make healthy water decision, make sure you always have water on hand.
The Aqua Brothers supply of water is SANS 241 accredited drinking water and available in bulk quantity, to aid you in having premium desalinated water on hand at all times.
Find out more about our desalination process here
Playing your part in the water crisis has become the duty of all Capetonians, and therefore we invite you to join us in reducing your impact on the environment with our eco-friendly, premium desalinated water. Find out more about our SANS241 accredited water here
- December 4, 2018