Hydration Tips for Active Living
You can be the hardest training athlete in the world and still fall short of success if you ignore the importance of water. It’s vital for all living beings and it’s a huge part of the athletic performance picture. Proper hydration boosts your energy, focuses your mind and raises your fitness potential.
The key is to drink enough water before, during and after activity so you never reach the emergency thirst level. Here’s a few facts to keep in mind next time you hit the gym:
WHEN & HOW TO HYDRATE
Drink water throughout the day and your workouts will run smoothly. To ensure you’re hitting the proper hydration levels you can follow this general guideline:
- Drink 15-20 ounces of water about 1-2 hours before activity
- Another 8-10 ounces, 15 minutes before you start
- And 8 ounces while you workout—every 15 minutes if it’s high-intensity
- Weigh yourself before and after exercise and for every pound lost, replace it with 16-20 ounces of water
You likely fall under the properly hydrated category if you can think clearly, move energetically and recover well from your training sessions. When you maintain a healthy electrolyte balance in your body, you optimize your athletic potential and help your muscles and nerves to function effectively.
Pay attention to your energy levels when you exercise and notice if you become fatigued easily. If lethargy is accompanied by a headache, light-headedness or dry mouth you may be sinking into dehydration. According to a study published in the Journal of Athletic Training, decreased hydration can lead to impaired physiologic function and decreased athletic performance. So, drink up!
If you’re over sports drinks and coconut water, fear not— fruit is here to save the day. Many fruits are a great source of electrolytes and fluids, helping to keep you hydrated before or after your workout. Dates and bananas are known to have high levels of potassium, which makes them the perfect mid-sweat snack during an intense session. Head to Benchmark Living Partner Joyous Health’s website for a variety of healthy and hydrating recipes.