November 10, 2020 2 min read
Drinking water is a commonly known necessity for working out, but it can be difficult to know how much water you need to ensure you’re getting enough. Staying hydrated prevents your muscles from cramping up and staves off fatigue so that you have the energy to get through your workout. Here are tips for staying hydrated during a workout to keep you in peak condition.
About two hours before starting your workout, a good rule of thumb is to drink at least two cups of water to ensure you are well-hydrated before starting your workout. During your warmup, your blood flow will begin to increase and allow fluids to easily flow through to your muscles. A good way to get a solid warm up is with a rubber resistance band if stretching alone doesn’t feel like enough. Once you do start working out, try to drink about 4-6 ounces of water every 20 minutes. Thirst alone is not a perfect way to tell if you need to hydrate, so a consistent intake of water will eliminate the risk of your muscles becoming dehydrated.
While water is the best option, there are a few other liquids you can choose from. Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade contain sugar which will provide carbohydrates to be turned into energy as well as minerals to replace lost electrolytes. Alternatively, you can dilute fruit juice with water to achieve the same effect as a sports drink. So, while water is ultimately best, these drinks are designed for quickly replacing fluids lost from sweat and providing a burst of energy.
To make sure you know that you’re properly hydrated, it’s helpful to know what dehydration looks like. The most immediate sign of dehydration is cramps. These are sudden and painful involuntary muscle contractions that can be a result of your muscles lacking water. Another obvious indicator is your urine. The lighter and clearer your urine is, the more hydrated you are, and vice versa. Smaller symptoms include physical signs such as lightheadedness, nausea, and fatigue. Generally, the best tip for staying hydrated during a workout is to consistently drink fluids—preferably water.
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