GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- We've all heard the rule that we should consume eight, 8-ounce glasses of water daily, but how many of us really practice it? Since water is the main component of our bodies - like 70 percent - it's vital that we keep it hydrated in order to ensure that it functions properly.
Your body can lose more than one quart of water during a one-hour workout, depending on the intensity, duration, weather and your personal sweat rate. Many people can lose a quart or more of sweat per hour. A fitness walk will obviously require less water than a workout. Exercise causes the core body temperature to increase, and you will start to sweat to help regulate your body temperature. Dehydration occurs when that temperature stays up, and the body is unable to cool-off.
Side Effects of Dehydration:
- Muscle fatigue
- Loss of coordination
- Muscle cramps
- Heat stroke
- Low blood pressure
- Altered mental state/confusion
How can you tell if your body is well hydrated? If your urine is pale, and you require a restroom break at least six times a day, you are probably doing a good job.
For a moderate workout, in moderate conditions up to an hour long, the general rule of thumb is to drink 4-6 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exercise.
If you exercise for longer than 60 minutes at a high intensity and/or in extreme conditions, consider using a sports drink during and after your workout to replenish your body with the fluid, nutrients and valuable electrolytes it requires. There is a true science behind fluid replacement during exercise and sports drinks are formulated to meet the needs of athletes. (Not to drink with your hamburger and fries.)
Beware of Energy Drinks
Popular energy drinks are very different from sports drinks. They are full of caffeine and sugar and can be dehydrating instead of thirst quenching. Don't be wooed by the marketing hype!
Chris Freytag's Personal Tip
I fill my glass water bottle three times a day: 22 oz x 3 = 66 oz and I add lemon. It's refreshing and the lemon will alkaline your body. We all have a PH balance, and our bodies tend to be acidic which is a big reason people can't lose weight or feel inflamed. Even better, drink 12 oz of lemon water every morning when you wake up - even before you eat anything or drink coffee. It flushes out your system and boosts your metabolism.
Exercising outdoors takes a little preparation; spend 10 days to two weeks acclimating to the hot weather. Build up your workout intensity and duration at a slow pace, and don't forget to hydrate!
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