The Importance of Hydration for the Physically Active
Drinking water throughout the day should be common sense, right? But are you sure you’re constantly drinking enough? Staying hydrated is too often overlooked, yet it’s essential for healthy body function, especially when you’re physically active. If you want to reach your goal or make it a lot easier to get through your FizzUp workout, you should pay close attention to how much water you drink. Athletic performance and hydration are closely related. Ready to see the glass half-full?
WHEN THIRST SETS IN
Thirst comes out of nowhere: it suddenly appears and makes itself known through symptoms such as a dry mouth, lips and throat. Then you’re overcome by a strong urge to drink water, but the damage has been done: you’re dehydrated. As soon as your body’s cells run out of water, your blood volume decreases, activating the “thirst center,” located in the hypothalamus in your brain. Thirst is a natural alarm that helps you regulate your body’s water intake. The best way to stay hydrated is to not wait until you’re thirsty before you drink water.
Stay hydrated doesn’t mean that you should drink alcohol or guzzle any kind of soda or fruit juice. Alcohol causes extreme dehydration because it forces you to make several trips to the toilet. What’s more, the infamous “hangover” effect is due to the dehydration it causes. Far from helping you lose weight, it only gives you calories that you absolutely don’t need, which are immediately stored in your body. Soda, on the other hand, is very high in sugar, making it harmful to your health. The powerful acids they contain also cause dental erosion. The caffeine in this beverage promotes anxiety, insomnia and even addiction. As for the additives and other preservatives that are added to it, they’re potentially carcinogenic. In other words, you’re better off without it! If you’re thirsty, drink water. It’s as simple as that.
THE IMPORTANCE OF HYDRATION
YOUR HYDRATION SCHEDULE
When you plan ahead, you can stay well hydrated and have an optimal recovery after exercise. To get started, here’s an example that you can certainly modify according to your level of physical activity and how hot it is outside. Get other tips on working out when it’s hot by clicking here.
- When you wake up: 1 to 2 glasses of water
- At breakfast: 1 beverage such as coffee, milk or tea. It’s up to you to choose between coffee or tea to start your day.
- Late morning: ½ liter of water sipped throughout the morning
- At lunch: 2 to 3 glasses of water
- Afternoon: ½ liter of water sipped throughout the afternoon
- Dinner: 2 to 3 glasses of water
- Night: 1 to 2 glasses of water
- During exercise: ½ liter of water every hour (up to 1 liter of water per hour in very hot weather)
If you follow this hydration schedule, you’ll get the necessary minimum of stored water you need to ensure healthy body function. You could also consider changing up your water intake by trying different kinds of water: tap water, soda water, spring water, mineral water or still water. This way, you can take advantage of all the different benefits they contain.
WATER AND EXERCISE
During exercise, constantly sip water to rehydrate yourself. It’s better to drink still water so that you don’t suffer from an upset stomach. In fact, water is vital to healthy muscle function and maintaining an ideal body temperature. It uses your blood to transmit energy (glycogen) to your muscles.
When you exercise for more than 90 minutes, you can also try adding something sweet to your water. You’ll spare your glycogen stores and make hydration easier. But make sure to add it sparingly. The amount of sugar you add to your water should be adapted according to the temperature of your surroundings. For example, you can add 2 volumes of grape juice to 1 volume of water when the temperature is less than 50°F (10°C). On the other hand, when the temperature is above 68°F (20°C), add 1 volume of grape juice to 3 volumes of water. Don’t forget to drink water after exercise to avoid one of the most widespread and detrimental mistakes that can ruin your workout experience.
WATER AND RECOVERY
During your workout, you lose a lot of water through sweat. Compensating for this lack by replenishing your fluids after exercise is vital. Water plays an important role during a healthy recovery, because it helps you get rid of the lactic acid that causes fatigue and sore muscles. Water also helps your muscles regenerate. Drinking enough water after exercise means you’ll be ready to tackle your next FizzUp workout.
And lastly, water is so important for intestinal function. When you’re well hydrated, you reduce the risk of constipation and are better able to eliminate toxins and other waste that your body doesn’t need. You’ll be at the top of your game and reduce your body’s tendency to store waste because you’re perfectly able to eliminate it. That’s a great piece of advice to remember when you want to lose weight.
So don’t forget to drink your water. Now you know the importance of hydration for the physically active. By sipping water regularly, you’ll fight bloating and completely change your workout experience. Cheers!