Friday, December 13, 2013

Hydration for Optimal Performance

As I sit here and write this, I have a nice, full glass of water in hand.

Water is the the fluid that fuels our bodies. We need it to maintain brain and organ function and for our muscles to recover after exercise. If we are not properly hydrated, our basic bodily functions may be compromised.

Just because you do not "feel thirsty" does not mean you don't need water. Consuming adequate amounts of water before, after and during your workout can determine how well you perform and subsequently how well you recover. Eat strong suggests we "drink early and often, every day. Staying well-hydrated throughout the day benefits you in ways beyond your training. It helps keep you alert and will prevent that dull, groggy feeling that slows you down in the middle of the day. Your heart has to work harder to pump as you become dehydrated since sweat is made from fluid in your blood and your blood becomes thicker as it is lost. For the record this is not an effective 'cardiovascular' workout." In order to perform to your personal best, you must make sure you consume enough water.

According to ACE Fitness, "[in] one hour of exercise the body can lose more than a quart of water, depending on exercise intensity and air temperature. If there is not enough water for the body to cool itself through perspiration, the body enters a state of dehydration." If you do not drink enough water post workout, you will run the risk of muscle cramps and you may hinder the recovery process.

After a rigorous workout, it is important to replace the energy and fluids that you have depleted.

So just how much water should we drink? ACE gives us the following guidelines:

  • Drink 17-20 ounces of water two to three hours before the start of exercise.
  • Drink 8 ounces of fluid 20 to 30 minutes prior to exercise or during warm-up.
  • Drink 7-10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
  • Drink an additional 8 ounces of fluid within 30 minutes after exercising.
  • Drink 16-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise.

  1. "Hydration, Performance & Recovery |" Hydration, Performance & Recovery | N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.
  2. "Healthy Hydration." ACE Fitness. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013.

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