I think that many people know that they need to be drinking lots of water (or a sports drink of some description) when they are working out or competing in a sporting event.
However if you are still not convinced about the importance of staying hydrated, I have just come across an infographic that has been produced by USA Football that provides some interesting facts about this very subject and offers some useful advice:
According to this infographic, athletes can lose between 1 and 4 pounds of water per hour when working out, so it is obviously very important to replace this water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
Some of the main symptoms of dehydration are listed in the infographic above, and include:
- dry mouth and throat
- reduced urine
- dry skin
- dizziness / sleepiness
- lack of focus
- loss of consciousness
The most obvious solution is to drink lots of water during your workouts, but this infographic offers some more detailed advice that will help you improve your performance, get better results and avoid becoming dehydrated.
For example, they suggest that you drink water throughout the day in order to stay hydrated, and always try to check your urine because if it is a little darker than usual and looks more like apple juice than lemonade, you need to start drinking more.
On the days that you are working out, it is recommended that you drink 12 fluid ounces 30 minutes before you begin your workout, and continue drinking every 20 minutes for the first hour after you have completed your workout.
It is also important that you replenish the electrolytes that you lose through perspiration. This can be achieved by taking a sports drink that contains electrolytes, or by mixing electrolytes with water (you can do this yourself by mixing water with salt and fresh citrus juice).
Finally, with regards to what you should be drinking, they suggest drinking cold water before your workouts, electrolyte drinks during your workout routines and chocolate milk or protein shakes immediately afterwards.
This all sounds like excellent advice to me because my personal trainer was always telling me to drink lots of water and was always encouraging me to bring a sports drink to the gym because I always sweat a lot when I exercise.
Plus, of course, if you are looking to increase strength and bulk up, it is always a good idea to drink a protein shake after your workout because as well as helping to avoid becoming dehydrated, it will really help to build muscle.
The important point is that you should never wait until you are thirsty because you can become dehydrated long before this. So drink plenty and drink often!