It’s common knowledge that you should drink plenty of water when you are exercising, but it’s like many things in our lives, the importance of this one small thing very often gets forgotten. It’s crucial that you stay hydrated while you are exercising, but it’s equally as important to make sure are well hydrated before you start exercising, and to keep hydrated after you’ve finished by continuing to drink . So many people don’t realise the importance of keeping hydrated before and after their workouts. A lack of water lead to dehydration, which can really affect your performance as well as cause other problems such a migraines and poor recovery.
To be able to function at its best your body needs to be well hydrated. Your body can still work perfectly well with low levels of dehydration, but you’re putting a lot of strain on your body which means that you will not be able to perform at your maximum potential. While everyone’s needs are completely different, it’s said that you should aim to drink around 1.5- 2 litres of water everyday in order to keep your body at maximum hydration. One way to check how hydrated you are is to check your urine. What colour is it? In an ideal world it should be very pale in colour. This means that your body has a god level of hydration, any darker and this is an indication that you should up your water intake.
Another aspect of hydration to think about is your electrolytes, this is particularly important when undertaking high intensity or endurance sports. Electrolytes are essential salts and minerals that your body needs to function, you can tell if you’re lacking these because you will be prone to muscle cramps and migraines. Sports drinks are a good way of getting these essential electrolytes as well sugars to help you go on for longer. It’s always important to check the ingredients on these types of drinks, because many of the use artificial sweeteners to replace sugar in order to keep the calorie content down. This defeats the purpose as more often than none when you reach for a bottle of energy drink you are doing so for an instant energy boost, which can only be gained through some form of sugar.
I’m not saying that it is necessary to consume this type of drink before you exercise, however there’s nothing wrong with having one at hand throughout the course of your workout, and remembering to consume a drink that contains electrolytes after your workout. However you choose to do it, it’s vital that you stay hydrated.