Fitness has a deep-rooted connection with confidence and vanity. Isn’t that what boosts you to do whatever you can just to keep yourself fit? Be it spending hours in the gym, pumping iron or performing early morning stretches. But during all this process, you often tend to overlook the importance of hydrating your body.
It’s a known fact that our body is made up of 70% water. This water plays a very crucial role in maintaining blood volumes, regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients and allowing muscle contractions to take place. While exercising, those little beads of water which gather around your temples and all over the body are just your body’s way to maintain its temperature by sweating. In order to keep the temperature in check, the sweat evaporates through skin, resulting in loss of fluid.
This loss of fluid results in increasing heart rate, dehydration, cramps and can bring upon fainting spells as well. Your body also excretes sodium and potassium while sweating, in turn affecting your performance and endurance.
Thus, hydrating the body before and during exercise is a complete must. Replenishing this loss of fluid, by hydrating your body can help – decrease the heart rate, enhance stomach and intestinal functions, relieve muscle cramps and reduce the adverse effect on performance.
However, the intake of water has to be in proportion to your sweat loss. If sweat loss is excessive then the intake of water has to increase too. On the other hand, if the sweat is moderate then the water has to be drunk in proportion.
Phew, don’t sweat! Here’s some quick advice for all your hydration woes.
Rules of hydration for effective exercising:
- Drink enough water before exercising as it helps the muscles to perform better.
- Don’t overdo, the intake of water, it can lead to over-hydration, which can affect the body adversely.
- 2% loss of fluid is sufficient for the body to under perform during exercise.
- More than 2 % of fluid loss can cause gastro-intestinal disorders.
- Post workout check your body weight to determine the loss of fluid as it needs to be replenished with fluids. Over, a period of 2-6 hours the body loses 150% of fluid through urination and sweating.
Thirst is not an indicator of fluid loss because the body doesn’t register thirst until the body has registered the lack of water. The fluid intake when feeling thirsty does not hydrate the body enough.