When you start your workout make sure that you take enough water to prevent dehydration. Normally thirst is the first sign of dehydration and one should continue to drink water throughout the day, especially during workout. Many people do not take it seriously and as a result mess up the entire exercise routine and prevent from exercising as hard or as long as one’s like.
Early signs of dehydration: If you have not taken enough water before starting your exercise, please watch for the early signs of dehydration as mentioned below:
- You feel fatigued. If you feel tired and sluggish when you start your work out, it could be a sure sign that you are dehydrated and could be because you have not taken enough water.You should drink enough water just before starting and also after finishing the workout. If you are doing a longer workout then sip water throughout.
- You cramp easily. If you do not hat you have not taken enough water. Therefore please make sure that you are hydrating your body well during warming up and also while exercising. Normal rule to be followed while hydrating yourself would be: for every 10 pounds of body weight, drink one ounce of water at least 1-2 hrs before starting the exercise. However, one should avoid drinking too much water before starting a workout.
- You have a high pulse. One should carefully monitor the heart rate during workout. This is very essential as this can help you understand how your body is responding to workout. Dehydration or low water intake could be one of the reasons for the increased heart rate. If the heart rate is above normal, drink some water and see how your pulse is affected. If drinking doesn’t affect the pulse rate, it could be some other reason. Water intake has to be determined by the season. Intake could be more in summer compared to winter months.
Water should always be part of your daily activity whether during morning or evening run, sweating out at the gym or during aerobic classes. During exercise the body losses extra water due to sweat loss which is more compared to working in your office or watching a TV. Drinking water not only re hydrates our body, it can also help in fighting fatigue and sluggishness. Please follow the below mentioned ways to fight dehydration:
The best way to prevent dehydration is to replenish body water with plain water. While many gyms keep expensive drinks, shakes and juices but most of the time plain water helps better than these expensive items. Just sipping 7-10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes would be enough to keep you hydrated. However, if you are running a marathon or during tough and rigorous physical training program running for more than an hour, it is better to add electrolytes in water to replenish essential salts. While regular water intake during exercise is important, one should be very careful about over hydration. Intake of excess amount of water can dilute salts in blood which can cause harm.
Sip on sports drinks and coconut water.
While a normal exercise or workout do not cause loss of electrolytes, a long and strenuous exercise results in excessive sweating and we lose electrolytes (the essential minerals) in the blood that helps regulate water in the body. Coconut water is rich source of Potassium and can be taken after an exercise. Many fruits are a rich natural source of minerals like banana and dates. They like coconut contain Potassium.
The best and the easiest way to understand the total water lost during and exercise is to weigh you before and after an exercise. Add 16 ounces of plain water for each pound of weight lost. If the weight loss after an exercise is more than 3% then there is a chance of severe dehydration. This can also put lot of strain on the body and may cause muscle cramps, drowsiness, lethargy and excessive fatigue.
Bottom of Form
Check the toilet.
Colour of your urine is an essential guide to check the level of dehydration. Normal and hydrated body will make your urine light straw coloured while dark yellow urine indicates dehydration
Continue small sips of water throughout workout and also when you feel slightly thirsty because mild thirst is a sign of impending dehydration.
Pay attention to your muscles.
More than 75% of our body water remains in our lean muscle mass. So muscles become easily fatigued and tired when water intake reduces. Small sips of water throughout workout prevent muscle cramps and early fatigue.
Pinch yourself. (Not really.)
Skin elasticity is an essential parameter to check dehydration. If the skin returns to normal immediately it indicates normal skin hydration, however, if it takes a while, you may be dehydrated.
Keep dry mouth at bay.
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Dryness in the mouth is of the first indicators of dehydration. If your mouth feels dry take a quick sip of water and take a break from exercise. It will help recover from dehydration.
Stop if you get dizzies.
Most significant and serious sign of dehydration during work out is feeling of lightheaded during a workout. It could be due to drop in blood pressure caused by drop in plasma volume. One should immediately stop exercise and start re hydration.
Next time you plan for a sweat sesh, keep these tips in mind for a safe, hydrated workout.
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