Hydration Mistakes You Might Be Making

Getting dehydrated doesn’t always occur in excessive heat if you’re working out to the max. You might be sweating enough to lose a lot of fluid even in air conditioning in Denver, CO. Your body is mostly water. In fact, depending on your age, sex and other factors, it’s between 60-75% water. Every cell in the body requires water to function properly. If you have too little water, it can affect your brain, heart and all major organs. While most seasoned athletes understand that it’s important to hydrate, still make hydration mistakes.

Start hydration early.

About a half hour before you workout, hydrate and then sip on water as you exercise. You don’t want to start with a belly full of water. It can cause stomach and digestive upsets. Giving yourself that half hour allows the water to get into your system and out of your stomach. According to the American Council on Exercise, you should drink a two to two and a half 8-oz glasses of water two to three hours before you start your exercise, then 30 minutes before, down another eight ounces. Have a bottle or two of water with you while you workout and zip on it.

Don’t guzzle water after a workout, or even if you’re feeling dehydrated.

It’s easy to drink several bottles of water when you’re parched, but pace yourself. Your body needs time to recover, which takes about a half hour. Large amounts of water can accumulate and interfere with breathing and other recovery processes. That’s because the bowels don’t absorb the water as well as normal, since high activity slows the digestive tract to provide more energy to the limbs. It’s even worse if you drink an ice-cold drink, while the body is still overheated. It can cause the strong contractions in the bowels, leading to cramping diarrhea and pain.

Hydration can be about more than just water.

Yes, tea, coffee and even fresh fruit or vegetables are ways to get more water. In fact, homemade drinks that contain a variety of fruit can be better than water if it contains the electrolytes your body needs, such as sodium, chloride, calcium, potassium, phosphate and magnesium. You can consume fruit for hydration. In fact, studies show approximately 20% of the average person’s hydration comes from fruit. Strawberries, bananas, mangoes, pineapples and apricots have electrolytes. Best of all is watermelon, which is almost all water with high amounts of potassium. Put a little salt on it and you increase your sodium levels.

  • Drinking something sugary, even if it’s an energy drink, can increase your blood glucose level. That can make you void more frequently to help the body reduce the amount of sugar, which adds to dehydration.
  • You can get too much of a good thing. If you’re drinking too much water, your body will tell you. Instead of straw colored or light yellow urine, your urine will be clear. Overhydration can be life threatening, but not nearly as common as dehydration.
  • You often hear about drinking 8 glasses of water a day, but that’s not always enough and sometimes too much. The amount of water you need varies by activity, age, sex and weight. A more realistic approach is to divide your weight in pounds by 2/3 and that’s the number of ounces you need.
  • You’ll be better served if you drink water with something in your stomach. The macronutrients and electrolytes of the food help absorb the water. One study found that drinks like juices absorbed better than water.

For more information, contact us today at JarFIT Body Transformation Experts

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