Training Tip Tuesday: Hydration
|September 25, 2012||Posted by Katy under Training Tip Tuesday|
We all know that it is important to drink fluids throughout the day and stay to hydrated during physical activity. In the summer months, it is easier to remember to drink fluids because of the heat, but as the temperatures start to decrease, it is easy to underestimate how much fluid we need.
Fall is in full swing up here in the DC area and the weather is absolutely perfect for being outside and staying active. (Sorry to all my readers who have not had cooler temperatures arrive yet. You’ll get there soon!) However, as the daily high continue to slowly but surely decrease, I know that I am having a difficult time gauging how much fluids I need.
In the summer, I have no problem drinking a LOT of water but in the fall and winter months, I tend to fall off the bandwagon. Not only do I drink less throughout the day, but I even drink less during exercise. In fact, I have been known to go on double digit runs without a single drop of water! This is definitely something I am working on!
There are many benefits to staying hydrated not only in terms of your overall health, but also in how you perform athletically. Today I wanted to share a few of those benefits and some other tips that you may or may not already know.
I want to reiterate that while I am studying to become an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, I am not one right now. What I am sharing today is from my study materials and own research so know that I am not a professional (or claiming to be).
Staying hydrated is SO important and water is the best fluid to keep our bodies functioning and working. In fact, about 60% of our body weight is water! Water helps carry waste products away from cells and nutrients to cells.
In terms of exercise, training, and performance during physical activity, there are a few facts and tips that I wanted to share with you all:
- Staying hydrated has many benefits including: less pronounced increase in body temperature and heart rate, better sweat rates/ cooling, better blood volume, and a decrease in muscle glycogen use (which means improved endurance).
- Losing 2% or more of your body weight during exercise has been shown to be associated with reduced performance.
- Thirst is not a good indicator of being dehydrated because by that point, you have already lost 1-2 liters of fluid. Drink constantly throughout the day to be at your best!
- Be sure to drink as much as needed to match sweat loss. Everyone has a different sweat rate (the average is 1-2 liters per hour) so be sure to adjust according to your estimates.
- To figure out how much you need to drink, weigh yourself before and after exercise. For every pound of body weight lost, drink 20 oz of fluid within 2 hours after ending exercise to regain balance. Over time, you will be able to estimate how much sweat given the specific exercise.
- Don’t forget to drink while you are swimming! It is easy to forget to drink during a long swim session but you are still losing fluid!
In preparing for a race or important training session (such as a long run or bike), there are a couple of separate points worth noting:
- In the day before an important event, drink an extra 16 oz of fluid during the day.
- In the four hours before the start of the event, continue to drink fluids about 2-3 mL of fluid per pound (so for a 150 pound person, they would drink 300-450 mL)
- 10-15 minutes before the start of the event, drink 7-10 oz of fluid.
- For every hour of exercise, shoot to drink 28-40 oz of fluid. However, be sure to adjust for sweat rate, especially if you sweat more!
- For longer endurance events, a sports drink with a 6-7% carbohydrate solution (such as Gatorade, Powerade, etc) can help athletes perform better during competition.
- After exercise, continue to drink to replenish fluid loss. As mentioned above, be sure to drink 20 oz of fluid for every pound lost. Also be sure to eat something! This also helps with recovery time.
These tips are simple, but I hope that they served as a good reminder to stay hydrated, despite the temperature outside!
Do you have difficulties staying hydrated, especially during the cooler months? What are your tips?
Source: ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer: Third Edition. Any and all other sources are noted in the textbook.