Hydration is essential for all aspects of fitness. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced athlete, drinking enough fluids is crucial for maintaining peak performance and overall health.
So why is staying hydrated important? During exercise, your core body temperature increases, and your body's response to that is to start sweating. Sweating is your body's natural cooling mechanism, but it also means that you're losing fluids. If you don't replenish these fluids, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated.
Dehydration can lead to a variety of problems, including: reduced athletic performance, muscle cramps, fatigue, headaches (my personal most common issue), dizziness, lightheadedness, constipation, and nausea
So exactly, how much water should you drink? According to the Mayo Clinic, men should drink around 3.7L (15.5 cups) and women should drink around 2.7L (11.5 cups). Not all water has to come from drinking water, as about 20% of our fluid intake come from the food that we eat.
If you're exercising for more than an hour, you may need to add electrolytes to help replace the sodium, potassium, and other minerals lost in sweat. Recommendations would be as simple as Gatorade or Powerade. If you aren’t too keen on the extra sugars those drinks provide, you are free to try alternatives like Pedialyte, LiquidIV, or LMNT.
Tips for staying hydrated: