Water is the building block of life and is arguably the most essential component of the human body. It regulates body temperature and blood pressure, protects vital organs and is absolutely necessary for the physiological function of the human body. Water comprises 75 percent of muscle tissue, approximately 10 percent of adipose tissue and also plays a function in the transport or nutrients and excrement of waste. Because water is so vital to the human body, it is crucial that you hydrate properly before, during and after a workout or physical activity, due to increased rates of perspiration. By properly hydrating you will ensure that you perform optimally during your workouts and reach your health and fitness goals faster.
Before a long run, race, or weightlifting workout, drink plenty of fluids. Everything from the duration and intensity of the workout, the environmental conditions in which it was performed and the type of clothing worn all greatly affect water loss. Additionally, the individual’s physical characteristics such as body weight, gender, age and metabolic efficiency also influence water loss. Before engaging in a workout it is important to drink 2 cups (8 oz) of water. This provides your kidneys enough time to process the liquids and gives you plenty of time to use the restroom beforehand.
Every person will have different rates of dehydration depending on gender, bodyweight, muscle mass, and metabolism. By weighing yourself before and after exercise, you can estimate the volume of fluid your body requires to remain hydrated during exercise.
For every pound of water lost during activity, drink an additional 16 ounces of fluid. For example, if you drank 8 ounces while exercising for 60 minutes and lost one pound, your goal is to drink an additional 16 ounces during your next workout.
To help you determine the amount of fluid you lose during exercise, you can weigh yourself before and after exercise. You should aim to weigh approximately the same after exercise, as the goal is to fully replace any fluids lost. Consumption of water and electrolyte-dense foods such as watermelon or bananas can help restore proper fluid balance, replenish muscle glycogen and achieve proper micronutrient balance.