Workout Hydration Tips

When it comes to working out, you know there are a lot of factors that go into being healthy and having a healthy lifestyle, and it's so much more than just hitting the gym a couple of times a week. If you are really interested in living a healthy lifestyle, you'll learn that it can almost feel like a full time job at first with all that you are learning. From what to wear to what to eat, and then when to eat it, there's a lot going on both before and after a workout, and hydration is one of those key things that can't be ignored. Hydration is key to our bodies functioning properly, and when working out, it is easy for your body to become dehydrated. Knowing how to stay hydrated after a workout is a must for anyone in the fitness industry.

The thing about hydration is that it starts before you even begin a workout. That's a big misconception many have, that they can battle dehydration just by focusing on getting there after a workout or any other activity, but you really have to focus on it before you even begin your workout.

Signs of Dehydration

You may be showing signs of dehydration without even realizing it. Some common signs of dehydration include muscle cramps and spasms, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue, just to name a few. You may also be going to the bathroom infrequently, which can lead to other health issues. Our bodies are mostly made up of water, so it is essential that we provide them as much water as they need to properly function.

How Much Water to Drink Before and After Exercising

There are a few different factors that can affect how much water you need to be drinking. The first is your current hydration level. If you are well hydrated, you can tell by your urine being light yellow or clear, then you wouldn't need to drink as much to keep your hydration levels up as you would if you were more dehydrated and had darker urine. From there, you'll also need to factor in how much you sweat, if it's hot or cool, and how long and hard you are exercising.

Luckily, the American Council on Exercise put together a basic guideline to help you get started with staying hydrated.

  • Two to three hours before working out you'll need to drink 17-20 ounces of water.
  • 20 to 30 minutes before exercising, drink 8 ounces of water.
  • Drink 7-10 ounces of water every 10-20 minutes during your exercise.
  • Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise.

Of course, if you are working out in a very hot climate, you may need to add more water to this, as you will likely sweat more.

Remember, this is a basic guideline and everyone's water needs differ based on numerous factors, so it's important to find the right balance that works best for you.