Staying adequately hydrated during exercise is not only directly linked to how much water you drink, but also in the types of foods that you eat. Foods such as fruits and vegetables are a great way to keep you hydrated. Not only are they delicious, but they’re high in water content as well. Dehydration occurs when your body loses too much water and blood salts, such as potassium and sodium. When you’re dehydrated your body’s ability to function begins to deteriorate. Keeping yourself hydrated can also help in preventing muscle soreness.
According to The National Academy of Sports Medicine, “Proper hydration is especially important during exercise.” It is important to have sufficient fluid intake for safety during exercise. The longer and more intensely you exercise, the more water you’re going to need. Sweating results in a loss of not only water, but studies have found it to cause a drop in blood volume which can cause muscle cramps, dizziness and fatigue. When you drink enough water you allow for an adequate transportation of nutrients and regulate your temperature while sweating.
Inadequate fluid intake is the major cause of dehydration. If you sweat excessively you should also hydrate more both during and after exercise. When exercising in dry, hot weather, be sure to carry extra water. Never wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. You should be staying hydrated throughout your workout.
While there are many recommendations for the amount of fluid you should be taking in during exercise, keep in mind, it can differ from person to person due to age, body type and current health condition. For example, certain prescription medications can cause you to become dehydrated. Recommendations can also vary due to the climate or altitude in which you’re exercising. I can tell you since I’ve moved to Phoenix from Philadelphia, I find myself needing to stay more hydrated during exercise. If you’re a coffee drinker you will likely need to take in more water to keep you from being dehydrated. If you’ve had an alcoholic beverage the night before, you will also need to drink more water to counterbalance fluid loss.