Proper hydration for your workouts is essential for performance and recovery. But beyond your workouts, hydration makes all of your body’s systems work at their optimum level (source).
Fluid intake and exercise is one of those basics that everyone knows, but may in fact only pay lip service to in practice. Proper hydration is more than having your water bottle with in the gym or on a long run. The right amount of fluids can help you exercise longer and harder and burn more fat.
3 Phases of Proper Hydration
Fluid Intake and Exercise have an important relationship that has to be addressed before, during and after your training sessions. Generally, you are drinking enough fluids daily if you urinate every few hours and it’s pale yellow color (source). For normal hydration you’d drink several glasses of water and other fluids and consume fruits and vegetables to get the necessary water. If you’re exercising very intensely or for extended periods like a half marathon or more you should consume fluids during the workout. This is necessary largely to replenish the electrolytes potassium and sodium lost with profuse sweating. After your workout drink to quench your thirst and a bit more since the thirst mechanism is an inaccurate indicator of dehydration.
Plenty of Choices
Water and sport drinks are only two choices for proper hydration. Fruits are a great source of fluids with watermelon being 90% water. Skim and low-fat milk are also good choices because they contain the electrolytes potassium and sodium as well as vitamin D and calcium.
Coconut water is growing in popularity and is a good choice for many. However, keep in mind that it does not have as much sodium as most other post-workout drinks and this could be an issue if you sweat profusely. It also can have diuretic and laxative effects (source). When it comes to fluid intake and exercise remember you need to drink about 24oz. for to replenish every pound of water lost.