Feeling tired, sleeping poorly or experiencing headaches and/or less than optional performance while exercising? This could be your body telling you to top up on water! Because our bodies are made up of over 60% water, it’s vital to stay hydrated so that our bodies can function, especially when we exert more energy during physical activity.
Water is essential to aid digestion, regulate body temperature, transport nutrients to give us energy, lubricate joints, and remove waste. Our overall wellbeing, health, skin, sleep, concentration, and performance hinges on staying hydrated. Read more about the importance of staying hydrated to boost your immunity.
Here’s why you should stay hydrated before, after, and during exercise and tips to help make that happen:
1. Avoid muscle fatigue and loss of coordination
Dehydration is known to cause muscle fatigue and loss of coordination. In just one hour of exercise, our bodies can lose more than a quarter of its water which can result in muscle cramps and energy loss. So make sure you drink water before, during, and after a workout.
2. Prevent the loss of strength, power, and performance while working out
While exercising, give your body the best chance to stay at an optimal level of aerobic and anaerobic capacity, strength, power, and performance by grabbing a drink of water.
Lean muscle tissue contains over 75% water. When the body lacks water, muscles are easily fatigued and may feel too tired to complete a workout session. So try to drink some water before continuing.
3. Help your heart do its job while you’re exercising
While exercising, your heart has to work harder to get the blood to your muscles. If you don’t help it out by staying hydrated, you can feel dizzy or fatigued due to lack of water in the blood, and a consequent blood volume and blood pressure drop.
4. Replenish water lost quicker during exercise
We lose water during the day just from breathing and sweating alone, so imagine how much faster we lose it when we are physically active? Water is essential for strong performance and optimal health; we need to replenish to stay hydrated.
How do you know if you’re sufficiently hydrated?
The best way to check your hydration levels is by checking the colour of your urine. Colourless or light yellow urine will indicate you’re most likely well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber-coloured urine is usually an indication of dehydration.
Signs of dehydration - Don’t wait for these before you drink water!
Dehydration occurs when we lose more fluid than we drink and can range from mild to severe. Our bodies are constantly communicating with us and we need to listen. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you could be dehydrated. Ensure you drink water throughout the day, increase your intake during physical exercise, and top up even more if you experience any of the following:
- Dizziness or lightheaded feeling
- Nausea or vomiting
- Poor sleep
- Poor performance
- Muscle cramps
- Hard, fast heartbeat
- Lack of concentration
- Bad skin
- Lack of sweating
- Urine that is darker than usual
You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms such as mental confusion, weakness, and loss of consciousness. These could be symptoms of severe dehydration.
Aiming to drink more water and stay hydrated? Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
- Carry a reusable bottle to refill with water during the day. Use our bottle.
- Drink water with every meal. Make sure you place a jug of water on the table to refill your glass. Try our Magnesium Mineralizer Jug.
- Aim to introduce good habits into your daily routine like drinking a glass of water before bed and first thing in the morning. Ensure your home tap water is purified with this Ecosoft under counter water purifier.
- Set daily water consumption goals. Use an app or decant the recommended daily amount into a jug to drink throughout the day.
- Don’t like the taste? Try one of our BWT Magnesium + Zinc filters which filters out substances that affect water’s smell and taste. You can also try infusing your purified water with lemon or fresh fruit for an added zesty flavour.
- If you are eating out, make sure you have a glass of water with every course.
- Feeling hungry? Try drinking a glass of water and waiting 15 minutes. Our bodies can confuse thirst with hunger.