Spokane Medical Research

Don’t Start Exercising Without This!

Filed under: Exercise — Tags: , , — Rudolph @

The one essential element of exercise that most people forget … water!! Water, or a properly hydrated body, is essential for all athletic performances. In fact, water is the key to healthy exercising and healthy living. Water can greatly increase your endurance.

There are three significant aspects that fluids play in the body during exercise. The first: fluids convey glucose to stressed muscles while exercising and carrying away the metabolic by-products. The second: fluids eliminate the metabolic by-products while urinating. The third: fluids in sweat whisk away your body heat through the skin so you won’t get overheated while exercising. When your body is low in fluids, it cannot function properly.

The consequences of dehydration are many. Here are a few: If you become dehydrated while you exercise, your cardiovascular system will be stressed by a decrease in the blood supply reaching your heart. Sweat is the main exit of heat from your body. You need water to sweat. If you cannot sweat, your body will have difficulty regulating it’s temperature and heat stroke or heat exhaustion may occur.

Before exercising, you should make sure you are hydrated. You can super-hydrate your body by drinking two cups of water two hours before you exercise, and two more again, fifteen minutes before you exercise. Drinking water during exercise is also important. Drink four to eight ounces of water every 15 minutes during exercise to replace fluid lost in sweating. After exercising drink three cups of water. After exercise your body needs water to re-build the muscles and the blood supply that was taxed during exercise.

We all need water, just to live, and most people don’t drink enough of it. Being thirsty is not a good signal for how much you need to drink. Most of the time you are well on your way to dehydration before your brain signals you are thirsty. A good way to make sure you are getting enough water is to fill up a gallon jug everyday and make sure you drink at least 3/4 of it. Guzzle it down through out the day, or sip it slowly if you want.

Soda with caffeine and alcoholic drinks actually do the opposite of hydrating your body; they cause you to lose fluids. Avoid these drinks for optimal hydration. Sports drinks with a lot of sugar may also be counterproductive in hydrating your body. The sugar slows down the absorption and this could be a problem during exercise. Dilute any sports drink that contain more than three percent sugar with one cup of water before drinking. Water is your best option for hydration and the least expensive too; water should always be your first choice.

You can develop kidney stones from not consuming enough fluids. If you are prone to kidney stones and you exercise in a hot part of the country, drink at least one and a half gallons of water a day. At first it will be difficult and you will have to urinate all the time. But your body will adjust and will hold more urine, thus eliminating the need to take a trip to the bathroom every moment.

A good test to know if you are getting enough fluids is to look at the color of your urine. If it is dark yellow, you need more liquid. Drink more fluids until your urine is clear and pale in the morning and in the evening.

Remember, during hot or humid weather you need more fluids than on cool days. For the best possible endurance and exercise benefits, don’t let your body get dehydrated.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress