By Devin Almonte
Things can get quite confusing when it comes to water consumption at workout time no matter what fitness class you are in or what type of exercise you are doing. Some fitness instructors tell you to drink up during class. Others start to yell at you if they see you reaching for your water bottle. What gives?
One of the main goals of water consumption during your exercise routine is simply to prevent dehydration. The best way to prevent this is by preparing yourself with appropriate water intake before and after your workout first. Now this is easier said than done. I, for one, thoroughly enjoy rewarding myself with a steaming hot latte post-workout. While this may be oh-so-good, it's a big no-no when it comes to hydration. So reach first for your water and latte later.
The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water two to three hours before a workout. Then, about twenty to thirty minutes beforehand, drink another 8 ounces. Within thirty minutes of completing the workout routine, drink another 8 ounces. Note that athletes may want to measure how much fluid they lose during exercise to get a more specific measurement of how much water to drink (16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound of body weight lost).
So we know we are supposed to prep and prepare for exercise with adequate hydration pre and post workout, but what about water consumption during our workouts?
Staying hydrated during exercise really isn’t complicated for most people. Some research shows that if your typical exercise session is around 60 minutes or less, and doesn’t involve vigorous activity outdoors in hot, humid weather, you probably don’t need to interrupt your exercise session for a drink. However, if you aren’t properly hydrating before and after exercise (many of us are not), you may want to have that bottle of water with you.
Think of hydration during your workout as the icing on the cake when your body has already been adequately prepped and prepared for the workout.
Not surprisingly, there are of course, many different viewpoints on whether or not to hydrate during your workout and how to do so. I’m always in favor of doing what feels right for your body. In my humble opinion, our bodies are great at telling us what they need. So if you are feeling thirsty, you probably need a drink of water.
Nevertheless, here are some general guidelines on whether to drink or not drink based on the type of workout and length of workout:
Type of Workout
Care for your body. Water it. Nurture it. Love it.
Your life depends on it.
If you are considering a new workout regimen and want to better understand your nutritional needs, please consult your doctor. There are associated risks with both dehydration and over hydration. All material on this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.
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