WATER & Exercise – How to drink it and how to not?

Many people doesn’t realise how important water is to us. That’s why I decided to extract and sum up in this article the most important information that you have to know about water and it’s qualities.

Water – Some general (and very useful!) info

About 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, and the same amount in our body. Water is required for each of the metabolic processes, including the synthesis of proteins. If you exercise intensely, the simplest thing you can do to help your body is to drink more water. According to the common understanding 6-8 glasses of water is enough for one day. But people who are exercising regularly need more. Aim to drink at least 2-4 liters of water depending on your size and needs.

Water flushes toxins and residues from our body. It is especially important in high-protein diet as it helps to remove excess nitrogen, urea (a toxic compound) and ketone bodies.If you take a lot of food to gain muscle mass, then you need even more water to help the kidneys. Without enough water, the kidneys can not function fully. When this happens, part of the “load” is transferred to the liver. It processes the accumulated fat in the body for energy.

If the liver is doing some of the work of the kidneys, your body burns less fat, ie instead of burning, your liver is occupied with other activities and begin to accumulate extra pounds. Contrary to popular belief, drinking water can actually help clear excess fluid. When water is taken infrequently or in small quantities, the body begins to think that there is a shortage and begins to store it to have a reserve in case of need. It is stored in extra cellular spaces and makes your skin look soft and fluffy.

Water and Exercising

By drinking an adequate amount of water each day, you can ensure that your body has all it needs to maintain good health.

Starting out hydrated is a good choice for morning exercisers. Drink water before your workout; you lose water while you exercise even without heavy perspiration. Ingesting at least a glass of pure water shortly after rising is a good way to hydrate your system.

Adding a small squeeze of lemon for taste also helps stimulate the bowels to evacuate soon thereafter, which will help you feel more comfortable during your workout routine.

Hydration is particularly important for the morning workout enthusiast. Remember, you’ve just awakened from a 8-to 10-hour fast.

Because proper hydration improves the quality of your workout, reduces fatigue, reduces recovery time, and increases your level of satisfaction, it is especially important for you to hydrate yourself before as well as after your workout session. Keep in mind that thirst is not the best scale by which to measure whether or not you are well hydrated. If your urine is the color of lemonade, you’re doing well; if by chance it is leaning toward the color of apple juice, you need to reach for another glass of fluid. Also, some symptoms of dehydration are headache, poor concentration, tiredness, and constipation.

Hydration during exercising

If your workout is particularly long or your environment is hot and/or humid, just drinking plain water during your exercise may not be the best option.

Two hours of vigorous exercise can deplete the fuel supply (called glycogen) that your muscle cells use during vigorous activity. Drinking water alone won’t replenish that fuel. Assuming you can’t take a meal break in the middle of your marathon race, you may need something to drink that also contains carbohydrate for energy and to sustain performance. Commercial sports drinks containing 6% to 8% carbohydrate from various sugar sources are recommended for exercise events lasting longer than 1 hour.

Likewise, when you sweat heavily for an extended period, you’re not losing just plain water. You’re also losing a significant amount of sodium, which needs to be maintained within a certain range to avoid potentially serious problems like exercise-induced hyponatremia (a serum sodium concentration <130 mEq/L), which can also occur if you drink too much plain water, in a short time period.

For particularly long endurance workouts OR exercise sessions in hot and humid weather, one mayneed more than the Tolerable Upper Intake Level for sodium (2,300 milligrams daily). That’s why commercial sports drinks are often recommended for athletes taking part in such endurance events.

Avoid taking huge gulps of water, though, and avoid taking in too much water during a single break. For instance, you may feel full and hurt your workout if you chug 30 ounces of water during a break. Instead, gradually take in cold water throughout your exercise routine, because cold water is absorbed more quickly into your system than warm water or room temperature water. This is the most effective way to drink water during exercise.

Hydration after exercising

Once you finish working out, your body still needs water to replenish the levels that you lost during your exercise. In order to help your body regroup, you need to drink plenty afterward as well. In addition to water, you should try to drink a beverage that contains electrolytes, as you lose many of these during exercise. Regardless, you need to get fluids into your system to make sure that you help the muscle healing process and stay hydrated later on. And again, make sure you’re drinking cold water in order to help it get into your system quickly.

Drinking plenty of water is the best thing that you can do for your body if you plan on exercising regularly. By staying hydrated, you’ll be protecting your internal organs and preventing your muscles from getting damaged by dehydration. So if you plan on exercising effectively in the future, make sure that you drink water before, during and after your exercise.

Author: Iavor Zayn

Sources:
http://www.acefitness.org/
bb-team.org

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