Maintaining proper hydration throughout a workout is essential for overall performance and well-being. Allowing your hydration levels to dip below optimal balance increases your risk of overexertion and dehydration and also inhibits you from achieving top performance. Here’s how to properly stay hydrated during your workout.
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when your body is using more fluids than it is taking in. Because dehydration can cause dizziness, confusion, fainting, and weakness, it is no surprise that your workout will suffer as a result. Here are the most common symptoms of dehydration:
- Thirst – the first thing that happens is you start feeling thirsty, which is the normal reflex when water levels are low
- Dark yellow urine
- A feeling of dizziness and lightheadedness – these are usually symptoms that occur if you ignore the thirst for a while or if you workout in hot weather without enough water
- Dry mouth and lips
- Fatigue and headache
How to stay properly hydrated during your workout
In order to ensure adequate hydration during exercise, there are simple tips to follow.
Use the Scale as a Guide
A popular trick among athletes and fitness trainers is to utilize the scale in order to track fluid loss. Simply weigh yourself before your workout and again after to determine if you remained sufficiently hydrated. If you end your workout weighing less than when you began, it indicates a need for increased fluids. By keeping a water bottle close by while exercising, you will automatically be reminded to stay hydrated.
Use Your Urine as a Clue
A simple but effective way to monitor your hydration level is by evaluating your urine. The ideal color is clear or very light yellow while dark yellow indicates a need for additional fluids. In order to stay healthy and hydrated you want to do your best to pee clear.
Drink Water and Consume Foods with High Water Content
An obvious tip for avoiding dehydration is consuming water. If your water comes from a well, it is important to get it tested through a company such as Water Systems Council to ensure it is completely safe. It is not necessary to rely solely on gulping bottle after bottle of water to avoid dehydration. Many fruits and vegetables are loaded with high amounts of water. Of course, there is the obvious choice, watermelon, but many others such as strawberries, pineapple, peaches, zucchini, celery and cabbage contain large amounts of water.
Listen to Your Muscles
Muscle tissue contains a high percentage of water and therefore needs proper fluid levels to function at its highest potential. If you experience fatigue or soreness in your muscles, try resting for a few minutes while consuming water.
Consume Potassium Rich Foods
Our bodies are constantly striving to maintain a critical, delicate balance of potassium and sodium in order to regulate fluid in our cells. Eating foods high in potassium such as avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, coconut water, spinach, and yogurt assists your body in achieving the proper ratio of potassium to sodium.
All in all, by staying properly hydrated during your workout, you will not only perform at a higher level and maintain your endurance but you will also avoid the pitfalls of dehydration.