Water For Energy!!
In our blog Recharge After Exercise – But Not With Chocolate Milk! Posted Wednesday July 25, 2012 we challenged the belief that chocolate milk is a great post-recovery drink. For the majority of exercisers water still stands out as the ideal beverage for recovery and for hydration. Let’s build on this further and take a closer look at hydration and how important it is for your workouts.
Did you know that even mild dehydration can lead to energy loss? Keeping your energy up is obviously key when you workout so you can perform well and for the desired length of time. As your muscles move your internal temperature rises. Your body will try to cool itself through sweet. But if it detects a shortage of water it will slow you down – muscle and mental fatigue. By slowing down your muscle movements you won’t heat up as fast, the body is pretty smart. If you push through the fatigue the body will slow you down further by sending signals such as dizziness, headaches and nausea.
So avoid having a lousy workout by making sure you are hydrated before you start, and keep hydrated while exercising. In general you should be drinking enough fluids through out the day to keep your urine clear to pale yellow (approximately 2 litres of water a day but it varies per individual).
· A couple of hours before you exercise drink an additional 1 – 2 cups of water
· Top up your water right before exercise with another ½ - 1 cup
· Have access to water during your workout and drink 4 – 8 oz every 15 – 20 minutes
Water is not only important for energy it is also used to lubricate your joints. And with the presence of electrolytes water affects the proper functioning of the heart, brain, balance mechanisms and muscles.
How much water should you drink after exercise? First measure how much water you lose during your workout by weighing yourself before and then immediately afterwards. The weight loss is all water. To recover drink 2 cups of water for every pound of lost body weight. If you don’t have a scale just know to drink lots after your workout and aim to get your urine back to clear or pale yellow.
Bored of water? Try adding some lemon to your water for a refreshing change (Bonus: lemon in water helps with digestion and cleanses the liver). Through out the day you can also hydrate your body with herbal teas. Milk is hydrating as well but don’t drink it like water. Excessive amounts of caffeine are dehydrating (diuretic) and so is alcohol. Avoid junk drinks like juice, vitamin waters, energy drinks, pop and commercial sport drinks.