Hydration and Exercise: A Crucial Connection

Your hydration is a critical part of nutrition. When we do not get enough water throughout the day, we can feel sluggish, experience brain fog, and often feel more aches and pains.

Have you ever wondered: How much water do I need in a day to maintain proper hydration? Or How does exercise change the amount of water I should drink? This post is for you.

Keep reading to learn the answers to those hydration questions and more! 

Why Is Proper Hydration Essential to Your Health?

On a cellular level, you need water to survive. Every cell in your body is mainly made of water, and they cannot properly function if you do not get enough hydration.

Water contributes to some of your body’s most basic functions, like temperature control and waste removal. It also works as a barrier to protect delicate tissues and lubricate your joints.

The Negative Effects of Dehydration

You can run into serious health issues if you do not get enough water throughout the day.

As little as 2% dehydration can cause you to feel fatigued and experience abnormal mood changes. Chronic dehydration may increase your risk of kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and constipation.

Hydration’s Influence on Exercise

In addition to preventing fatigue and injury, hydration can boost your overall physical performance.

Proper hydration improves endurance and significantly affects your body’s ability to do physical work. The more water you drink, the easier it will be to reach personal goals in the gym because you are not fighting against dehydration.

How Much Water Should You Drink in a Day?

You have probably heard that you should aim for “eight glasses of water a day,” but that saying does not tell you how much you need because there isn’t a standard size for a “glass.”

Thankfully, there is a definitive answer. Scientists have conducted extensive hydration research and found a measurable amount of water we should drink daily. 

According to the National Academy of Sciences, men should try to consume 3.7 liters (104 ounces) of water daily, and women should take in 2.7 liters (72 oz). Twenty percent of that water intake often comes from the food you eat, while the remaining 80% comes from the fluids you drink each day.

Should You Drink More Water If You Workout?

Yes! We shed a lot of water via sweat during physical activity and exercise. For example, distance runners can sweat out 1.5 liters (51 oz) of water every hour that they run.

Preparation is key to staying hydrated during a workout. Before you even step into the gym, it is best to drink around 300-400 ml (10-16 oz) every hour prior to exercise. You should also drink between 200-400 ml per hour — or 100 ml (3 oz) per Afterburn workout session  — during your workout!

Once your workout is over, you should continue drinking water or an electrolyte-replenishing drink until you consume 1.5 times the amount of water you just sweat out.

Should You Take Hydration Supplements?

Hydration supplements are full of minerals that help you replace electrolytes when you sweat, so reaching for a sports drink or something like Liquid IV after a workout makes sense.

However, you do not need to add a hydration supplement to every glass of water. Your body will absorb plenty of fluids if you stick to regular water throughout the day.

As long as you drink the recommended daily amount of water, you should not need any extra supplements.

Are You Hydrated If You Aren’t Thirsty?

Thirst is your body’s way of telling you that you need to drink more water. If you feel thirsty, you should definitely increase your hydration!

However, you may not be completely hydrated — even if you do not feel thirsty. As we age, the hormones that regulate thirst are not as efficient, making it easier to dehydrate without knowing it.

The color of your urine is an easy way to tell if you are hydrated without relying on thirst. Pale yellow or colorless urine is a good sign that you are taking in enough water daily!

We Have Your Hydration Answers at Fit Body Boot Camp!

You are not alone on your fitness journey when you join Fit Body Boot Camp. We offer one of the best 30-minute group workouts available, and our fitness coaches are here to answer your nutrition or exercise questions!

Visit a location near you to learn why people call our workout sessions  ‘The Best 30 Minutes of Your Day.’

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