Are You Hydrating Properly During and After Exercise?

March 4, 2013


HydratedIt is important to stay hydrated before and after exercising in order to achieve the best results. Not properly hydrating can lead to problems such as muscle cramps, dizziness and nausea. Insufficient hydration may also lead to more serious problems like heat exhaustion. Here are a few hydration tips to keep in mind as you work toward your fitness and weight loss goals.

Drink Sufficient Amounts
Obviously, the most important aspect of staying hydrated is making sure that you are drinking the right amount of fluids before, during and after your workout. It is generally best to drink around 10 ounces of water or a sports drink a few minutes before beginning your workout. You should drink the same amount of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. It is also advisable to drink sufficient amounts following a workout in order to replace lost bodily fluids.

Check Urine Color
One indicator of dehydration is the color of your urine. Urine that is clear or has a light yellow color is a sign that your body is properly hydrated. Urine that is dark is an indicator that your body is lacking in fluids.

Don’t Let Thirst Set In
The sensation of thirst only sets in after your body has been dehydrated for a while. Even if you do not feel thirsty, it is important to drink the right amount of fluids before, during and after your workout.

Avoid Caffeine
Even though a cold caffeinated beverage tastes soothing, the caffeine contained in the beverage actually dehydrates the body. You are only doing yourself harm in your workouts if you choose to drink a caffeinated beverage like soda.

Don’t Overdo It
Dehydration should be avoided, but hydrating too much comes with its own set of health problems. Hyponatremia, which is a condition caused by drinking too many fluids, can cause feelings of delirium and can even result in the development of seizures due to the depletion of sodium levels within the body. Even though you will likely not hydrate excessively during regular workouts, you may be tempted to overdo it if you choose take part in a marathon or other type of extreme endurance activity as you try to lose weight.

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