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Drinking Water during Exercise: Benefits and Secrets

drinking water during exercise

There is no secret that water is one of those small miracles we need to take more seriously to boost our health and keep it at optimal levels. There is no doctor, nutritionist, athlete or cosmetician to deny the power and benefits of drinking plenty of water on a daily basis. But is drinking water during exercise a good idea? If you are all sweaty and you drink cold water aren’t you risking a cold? And how much water do you really need to drink during workouts? Today we will take a look at what medical experts and fitness specialists have to say about drinking water during exercise.

Dehydration is the Villain

If you start a workout or a jogging session already dehydrated, chances are you will register poor performances. Symptoms like dizziness, lethargy, mental cloudiness and muscle pains are most likely to kick in and ruin your exercise completely. But how do you know you are dehydrated or about to get there? Specialists say that when you start to feel thirsty during an exercise you are already dehydrated by 2%. You lose plenty of water through perspiration, breathing, and drooling – and since your muscles are made of water by 75% and your fatty tissues contains at least 10% water, the earliest signs of dehydration mean you need to refill your water resources to be able to get the performances you need and keep your health in check. We all should keep in mind that 1.5% of dehydration translates into a 10% drop in your maximal strength. So by the time you get really thirsty, you already register significant drops in performance.

Drinking Water during Exercise

Bottom line is that you need to have your athlete water bottle with a wide mouth straw lid nearby at all times to get rehydrated on the go, no matter if you jog, pull weights, practice yoga or follow your aerobics daily routine. Constantly replenishing your water supply allows your heart to better pump up blood without making huge efforts and transport oxygen and nutrients to your brain and muscles.

But should you stop what you do and drink water every single time you feel thirsty? Some specialists consider such a practice as a stalling technique employed by some athletes. If you are well hydrated before gym session and the room temperature is optimal, you shouldn’t stop every three minutes for a drop of water. The rule of thumb is that you should stay very well hydrated throughout the day, from morning to dinner time, before and after gym class. But how do you know how much water you need to keep your hydration at optimal levels?

Many athletes (even professional ones) underrate their bodies’ need for water and risk dehydration because they simply don’t know how to calculate their optimal daily water intake. Is there an exact science? There are plenty of variables to factor in, including your nutrition, condition level, climate, and type of workout. However, specialists are able to offer a general guideline you can try following:

  • Calculate your body weight (in pounds) and multiply it by 0.5 to get the number of ounces of water you should be drinking throughout the day.

Never forget to drink in between 15 and 20 ounces of water two hours before you exercise and 10 – 15 ounces of water half an hour before you actually start working out. This way you will stay hydrated and even if you will take a break for drinking water during exercise you will do your body a favor, not stall or cheat on your workout schedule.