The Importance of Hydration for Exercise

Not only is it hydrating properly essential for your health, it could also determine the effectiveness of your workout. The human body is made up of around two thirds water and keeping this level up is paramount. Ignore hydration at your peril.

What Happens When You Sweat?

When you exercise, your body releases an increased amount sweat in an attempt to cool itself down. The fluids and minerals lost during exercise far exceed the amount your body can replenish and hydration during exercise is vital to keep energy levels up and your body in top health.

As you sweat the volume of your blood drops, which means less oxygen can be pumped to your muscles. Your muscles are also made up of around 75% water and if you don’t replenish fluids, dehydration can lead to dizziness, muscle cramps and tiredness. Adequate hydration during exercise prevents this, meaning you can perform and make the most of your exercise.

What Happens if You Don't Rehydrate?

If you do not maintain hydration during exercise, your body will find it very hard to regulate its own temperature by sweating and overheating can be fatal. Water is essential for any of your vital organs and acts as a transport for nutrients and waste for your body’s cells.

Experts say if you’re thirsty it’s too late. Be sure to drink before you even begin to think you might be getting thirsty as thirst is an early sign on dehydration. Staying hydrated throughout your exercise should be a regular, steady process and you should be sure to drink more than your thirst demands, before, during and after a workout.

How to Hydrate

Whilst drinking in water is still the best way to stay hydrated, there are countless sports drinks that are fantastic at replacing what are called electrolytes, which are lost in your sweat. These electrolytes are salts that your cells use to carry electrical impulses, which are responsible for muscle contractions.

Fruit juices and shakes are also good for staying hydrated, although none are as effective as water. This is because your body actually uses water extracting the water in the juice.

Remember not all fluid comes from drinking, either. Fruit and vegetables are full of water as well and eating is another way to stay hydrated. Drinking is essential, however, and water is by far the best way to prevent dehydration.

In Summary

Ideally, you should be consuming around 250ml of fluid for every half an hour of exercise you complete. Be sure to drink a glass or two of water around an hour before you start your exercise as well.

Even after you’ve finished exercising, be sure to continue drinking and consumer another 250ml within 30 minutes of finishing your workouts.