One area that can make exercise more enjoyable and safe is proper hydration. Hydration is the consumption of liquids pre, during and post-exercise to replace water lost during exercise. Without proper hydration an exerciser will become thirsty, have impeded muscle function, and have poor thermoregulation. Dehydration can also result in loss of important electrolytes, sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium.
Factors that affect hydration level during exercise
- Amount of pre-hydration
- Exercise duration, greater duration requires more hydration
- Exercise intensity, greater intensity requires more hydration
- Exercise type, weight bearing cardiovascular and high intensity weight training require more hydration
- Hydrate during exercise
- Hydrate post-exercise General hydration plan
- 10-12 ounces of water one hour pre-exercise
- 10-12 ounces of water pre-exercise
- 6-8 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exercise
- 10-12 ounces of water post-exercise
Fluids that are safe and effective
The most common and safe fluid is water, especially cool or cold water. Consider getting a water filter in the home, it will save you so much money in the long run on bottled water and helps to purifier your drinking water – see here for benefits of these units in 2019. Most exercisers do not require commercial fluid replacement drinks such as Gatorade. Generally those who exercise at very high intensity for 45 or more minutes would benefit from commercial fluid replacement drinks. Some people make their own fluid replacement drink by significantly diluting a favorite sugared soft drink (Coke, root beer, etc) or juice (orange, apple, grape, etc). The level of dilution is dependent on each person’s personal tastes and the soft drink or juice. Start with a 75:25 solution, 75% water and 25% soft drink or juice. A very small amount (e.g. “pinch”) of salt may be added.
How to know when you are dehydrated
Generally, when a person is thirsty they are already in early stages of dehydration. Also, as we get older the thirst mechanism kicks in later, which results in increased dehydration. The other major way to determine hydration level is urine color. A dark yellow and odorous urine reveals higher levels of dehydration. For color chart go to: http://www.gtpnutrition.com/site/hydration/
For further questions on proper hydration, contact us.