The festive period is now over and many of us will be struggling to take off the weight we managed to so easily put on at Christmas! January is a time when people address their over indulgence by increasing their exercise and decreasing their intake of alcohol and high calorie foods!
As we all know, being adequately hydrated plays a vital role in keeping fit and healthy but did you know that keeping hydrated whilst exercising will help to keep your energy levels up; regulate your temperature and can help prevent cramps! You can lose over a litre an hour through sweating and breathing during exercise (depending on the intensity of exercise you are doing) – our body is made up of around 60% water and plays a crucial role in every bodily function, so not keeping your water levels topped up during exercise can quickly dehydrate you. Weather and environment will also play a part in how much water you lose!
Becoming dehydrated during a workout will not only affect you physically but mentally too and can leave you feeling that the exercise you are doing is harder than it is! Performance during a game, or competition, is just as important at the beginning as it is at the end, so keeping your body and mind focussed and in peak condition requires a bit of planning to make sure you are hydrated. “We need adequate hydration so that our muscles can work” says Alexis Halpern, MD Weill Cornell Medical Center. “Muscle mass is 70 to 75 percent water. Staying hydrated properly improves both physical and cognitive performance, and without hydration, both suffer.”
Sipping water, little and often, is the best way to keep your water levels topped up whilst you exercise – so having a handy sports bottle with you will enable you to sip away whilst you workout. If you are doing intense training over a longer period, it is essential that you take electrolytes too; consuming too much water and sweating excessively can affect your mineral levels, in particular, potassium and sodium. Electrolytes can be found in many sports and energy drinks but are also found in coconut water, milk, yoghurt, watermelon and avocado, to name but a few, and, are great to top up post workout!
References: greatest.com / pureprotein.com