The importance of drinking water during exercise…and how it can lead to a better workout
On average, you lose 250ml of water daily just through breathing, but what happens during your exercise sessions? Water breaks are more than just an excuse to rest and catch your breath during your workout… it’s there to replenish the body with vital nutrients for you to keep ‘working up a sweat’. Read on to find out why you should appreciate those water breaks even more than you already do.
H2O…What’s the BIG DEAL?
Did you know that water is essential in EVERY function of your body??!! Water acts as a lubricant for your muscles, joints and vital organs. It transports oxygen and glucose throughout your body, making sure you have enough energy to do those dreaded squats and push-ups. Your muscles use water for strength and flexibility, whilst your joints need water to prevent stiffness. AND your brain needs water to send messages, like how to regulate your body temperature.
So…do you still think water isn’t a big deal? If you’re not convinced yet, keep reading…
Replacing your losses
Although sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself down, have you considered what you’re losing through all that sweat? Water! Hence, it is important that you drink enough water to replace your losses during exercise, especially to avoid the dangerous effect s of dehydration. You also lose other nutrients through sweat, namely sodium and potassium, which becomes a concern during prolonged periods of exercise. Without going into too much detail, these nutrients all play their part in ensuring our muscles are contracting and relaxing correctly, so having a bottle of water available during exercise is a great way to replenish the body after a ‘sweaty’ training session.
Probably the most important take-home message from our 21-day water down challenge is this: If you think skipping your water intake is no big deal, think again! Neglecting your hydration needs will lead to dehydration…headaches, muscle fatigue & cramps, loss of coordination, confusion, heat illness, exhaustion…all of which negatively impacts your workout performance and can make you very sick! So remember to always pack your water bottle, quite frankly…you shouldn’t even start your training session without it! Make your hydration levels a PRIORITY!
Time to face the facts…there is no substitute for water. Even though juices and sports drinks may taste so much better, many of them contain excessive amounts of sugar…which has the OPPOSITE effect ofwhat you are trying to achieve. Yes, sugar causes your body to become dehydrated AND will just make you thirstier!! The only time you might consider a sports drink with electrolytes is if you are planning on doing strenuous activity for longer than an hour (eg. marathon). For all other workouts, stick to the good stuff…H2O, that’s all your body needs.
Drinking cold water before your exercise session is a great way to ‘kick-start’ your metabolism. Since your body has to work to warm up the water, you will be burning a few extra calories in the process.
Drinking enough water during your workouts will put less pressure on the heart, so your heart won’t have to pump as hard to distribute blood to the working muscles, and in this way, you can keep your heart rate down.
Now go get yourself some water and get ready to SWEAT
Join our 21-day Water down challenge here: http://bit.ly/2CrSp99