Working Out? Don't Forget to Stay Hydrated
Did you know you can lose up to five percent of your body’s water weight every time you work out? Staying hydrated is a necessary aspect of any healthy workout, but it can be easy to forget to drink water once you start exercising. Take a sip of the good stuff with these hydration tips from the Army National Guard–it’s vital!
- Cool, plain water is the best drink to replace the fluid lost as sweat and help regulate your core body temperature.
- Plan to drink water before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration and help enhance performance. Sip a 16-ounce bottle of water every hour while working out.
- Outdoor workouts require extra hydration, even during cooler weather. The water content in your skin helps it perform its protective functions, including limiting damage from the sun. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after any time spent in the sun.
- Learn to recognize signs of dehydration, so you can take steps to reverse it. Early signs include muscle cramps and fatigue, while a dry mouth, headache, dizziness, slurred speech and confusion all signal advancing dehydration. If your extremities become swollen or you become feverish, medical attention is necessary.
- If you find yourself dehydrated and water isn’t available, a melon, orange, celery, cucumber or bell pepper can help replenish your body’s water content.
- Make it a post-workout practice to replenish electrolytes with a banana, dates or coconut water.
It’s important for everyday health to keep well-hydrated away from the gym, too. Staying properly hydrated helps regulate your body temperature, weight and mood. Keep a refillable bottle of water with you wherever you go, and if you need a touch of flavor, add lemon, lime, pineapple or cucumber for a refreshing twist. Aim to drink 50 to 75 percent of your body weight in ounces of water each day to stay hydrated.