Hydration is a crucial part of working out. Dehydration can cause a wide array of mild to severe consequences which can easily be avoided if you take in the right amount of fluids, especially before, during, and after any physically intensive activity. In this article, we will look at what proper hydration is and how to best take care of your body while working out.
When Should You Hydrate When Working Out?
If you are wondering when you should hydrate while working out, the answer is simple: before, during, and after. The quantity and frequency will depend at what stage of your workout you are at, but what is most important to remember is that proper hydration is crucial when working out to avoid injuring yourself or risking dehydration.
You should make sure to properly hydrate an hour before working out so your body is ready to go. Pre-hydration also gets your heart pumping and blood moving through your core and extremities to prepare for exertion.
It is recommended that you drink about 100ml to 150ml of fluids (either water or sports drinks) every 20 minutes or so. Too much intake can make you feel sick, especially for high-endurance and intense activities, so small regular sips are best . It is especially important to hydrate yourself regularly if you are exercising outside in the sun.
You should drink 8 oz of water within 30 minutes of the end of your workout to make sure you do not dehydrate, as well as help your body recover as best as possible. As a rule of thumb, you should drink more fluid than what you lost by sweating and urinating while working out.
According to MedlinePlus, dehydration “happens when you are losing more fluids than you are taking in, and your body does not have enough fluids to work properly.” People exercising, especially outside in hot weather, are more at risk of dehydrating. This is why it is important to know the symptoms which may indicate dehydration. These include:
- Being thirsty
- Having a dry mouth
- Being dizzy
- Having dark urine
- Lacking urine or sweat
While severe cases may require intravenous fluid (IV) intake at a hospital. There are many ways to prevent dehydration from occurring, including drinking enough water frequently and taking in electrolytes if you are working out.
Good Electrolytes to Replenish After a Workout
According to AceFitness, electrolytes are “positively or negatively charged ions that conduct electrical activity.” Electrolytes are crucial for maintaining the overall balance and wellbeing of the body. Sports drinks are made with electrolytes, making them a great way to get an extra boost while working out. According to MedlinePlus, electrolytes help:
- Balance the amount of water in your body
- Balance your body's acid/base (pH) level
- Move nutrients into your cells
- Move wastes out of your cells
- Make sure that your nerves, muscles, the heart, and the brain work the way they should
Although electrolytes are not yet fully understood by science, there are certain elements to different kinds of nutrients which we know bring in electrolytes.
Magnesium is known to help with “supporting muscle and nerve function and energy reproduction.” Magnesium can be found in foods such as nuts, seeds, certain vegetables, and dairy products, but can also be taken as dietary supplements.
According to Harvard School of Public Health, sodium is necessary for the body to “conduct nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles, and maintain the proper balance of water and minerals.” The problem with sodium is that too much of an intake can lead to serious health problems. Make sure to consult a medical professional before increasing your sodium intake significantly.
Potassium is important for the cells of the human body to function properly. According to Harvard Medical School, potassium “regulates the heartbeat, ensures proper function of the muscles and nerves, and is vital for synthesizing protein and metabolizing carbohydrates.”
Calcium is essential for the development and maintenance of bones. According to the Mayo Clinic, the “heart, muscles and nerves also need calcium to function properly.” It is important to have a sufficient calcium intake. For adults aged 19 to 50 years of age, the recommended daily dose of calcium is 1,000mg.
Intravenous (IV) Therapy for Athletes
Intravenous (IV) therapy is a way of getting fluids or medications through the veins and into the bloodstream. IV therapy can be used to provide hydration and nutrients to a person after an intensive workout.
Can You Workout After an IV?
While getting a liquid IV for hydration after a workout is a great way to replenish your body of all that it needs, it is best not to do it right before starting. ResetIV has several IV packages designed for athletes and people working out often. These infusions are designed to replenish all of the electrolytes you may need and balance your body.
The Workout Post Workout Boost IV Package provides your body with a combination of saline, vitamin B12, and several amino acids. If you get this package, you will have a professional nurse come over to perform the IV.
You can check out their website to find a list of all of their IV packages you can find. These include wellness, athletic, beauty, hangover, and getting better when you’re feeling sick. There are also a wide array of other IV’s available on their website.
It is absolutely essential to know about proper hydration in order to maintain and sustain your health, especially if you engage in physical activity. In this guide, we took a look at hydration, pre-hydration, and dehydration, as well as different options available to make sure your body is properly replenished with nutrients and electrolytes.