Staying hydrated before, during, and after your workouts has a positive effect on your training and recovery. Here are a few hydration tips to keep in mind:
Pre-workout hydration starts early, as early as a day before your workout. Beginning a workout dehydrated has a negative effect on your performance. Leading up to your workouts, try to keep a steady intake of fluid going.
Properly hydrating will help your body cool itself from the inside out, keep your heart rate in check, and will keep your body performing well overall. You may assume that you don’t need to worry about drinking during your workout; you’ll get plenty of fluid afterward. But if you wait until after a workout, then you might already be dehydrated, and you’ll need to play catch-up. Keeping a small water bottle close by during a workout will help you maintain your fluid levels.
You’ll know how much water you lose during a workout by weighing yourself before and after. For every pound lost, drink 16 ounces of water. Read on for more tips for staying hydrated (and not overhydrated).
How Much is Enough?
There are two subjective “tests” that you can use to monitor if you’re over or underhydrated.
Over: While you want to make sure you’re staying hydrated before, during, and after a workout, you also want to make sure that you’re not overhydrating. One way to gauge if you’re overdrinking is to avoid a “sloshy” feeling in your stomach.
Under: If you’ve read anything about hydration, then you probably have heard something about using the color of your urine to gauge your water intake. Aim for pale yellow color; anything darker than that is an indication that you’re not drinking enough.
What Should I Drink?
When in doubt, drink water. Just good old-fashioned plain water. Most people who are working out for an hour or less will get the electrolytes and nutrients they need from the foods they eat. However, if you are a heavy sweater or regularly work out in a hot environment, then you may need to supplement your water with some electrolytes.
Staying hydrated before, during, and after your workouts can keep you moving and recovering well. To learn more about how the YMCA of Greater Whittier can support you in creating a healthy lifestyle, contact us today.