It has been hot, hot, hot lately! We have been taken over by a heat wave. And me being the good blogger and challenge coordinator that I am, worry about all of our PK Fitness users out there. I hope you stay hydrated during your workouts, and safe!
Our bodies function off of water. Every cell, every tissue, every organ- requires and thrives off of adequate water sources. I’m sure you have experienced dehydration at some point in your life, and it’s no fun! The unpleasant results of not drinking water include headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness, sleepiness, and dry mouth. To help in preventing these undesirable symptoms, to help your body thrive, and more about exercise hydration read on.
Water in your Body
The cells in your body actually function off of proper water and electrolyte (salts, etc.) balance. Sweating and drinking water are just a few popular ways to change internal hydration levels and throw off water and electrolyte balance.
When you need water
When water is secreted in your sweat, it is coming from free water which is stored outside of your cells. Once this water leaves through sweat, the water that is located inside of your cells will move outside to fill in for the water that left your body in sweat. When this happens, your cells will literally shrivel from the lack of water within them.
Drinking water to replace the loss of water in your system is so important! The fresh water will help balance that loss and refill those cells with water.
When you need water and electrolytes
Usually, just plain water will do the trick. However, in some cases, drinking just water can be dangerous. Often after prolonged intense activity (such as during a marathon or in extreme temperatures), both water AND electrolytes are depleted through sweat. In this case, when only water is replenished, a huge surge of water will travel into your cells. With no electrolytes being added into the system to balance things out, your cells will literally swell with water.
In extreme cases, this can lead to Hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is when your cells can become distorted, swell, or burst due to the high concentration of water. That is where an electrolyte sports drink, like Gatorade, can make an enormous difference. Sports drinks will replace both water and electrolytes at the same time, and create a balance so there’s no need to worry of hyponatremia happening!
To avoid these extreme situations, stay on top of your hydration throughout the day by following the guidelines below…
Stay hydrated in general. It’s recommended to drink approximately 8 cups of liquids or fluids throughout the day. Upkeep how you feel and prepare for whenever you’re going to exercise by putting this into practice.
Before Exercise: Drink 16 ounces of water 4 hours before exercise, and an additional 8 ounces of water 15 minutes prior.
During Exercise: Consume 3-8 ounces every 20 minutes during exercise up to 60 minutes.
During Exercise: Drink 3-8 ounces of electrolyte sports drink, every 20 minutes for any activity exceeding 60 minutes.
After Exercise: Check body weight after intense exercise. For each pound lost, drink 20-24 ounces of water. You should replace whatever water you depleted within the two hours following exercise.
Obviously, most of us don’t follow these guidelines. But hydration is an important safety measure! Plus, you can feel great, fresh, and hydrated by putting this into practice.
I recommend you invest in a water bottle marked by volume. That way it’s easy to track how much you drink. You can even set goals for yourself on how much water you should drink in a set amount of time.