These days more and more of us Brits are keeping fit by following our sporting passions. It’s something that at Buxton Water we wholeheartedly support. (It’s why we’re at the London Marathon every year helping each and every big-hearted hero stay well-watered along the way.)
Of course, it’s not just long-distance runners that need to stay hydrated while running to achieve their best results. Whatever sport you’re into, from squash to softball, polo to pole vaulting, making sure you stay hydrated while exercising plays a vital part in how well you’ll do.
In fact, just a 2% reduction in fluids can result in a 10% to 20% loss of performance**. The very best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to drink water while exercising
Don’t forget, you shouldn’t just think about hydration during exercise. Taking on water before and after are just as essential. This is because after exercising, your body will still be trying to cool down once you’ve finished. Part of this cooling down process causes your body to release water through sweating. This water will need to be restored to keep you feeling your best after a workout.
How much water should you be drinking?
Staying fully hydrated during exercise can be easier said than done, mind you. In the heat of an intense match or pushing yourself to break your personal best drinking can take a back seat. But it’s vitally important that you drink as much as you need, not just to give you the best chance to perform but for overall well being too.
The amount of water you should take on board depends on a number of things. As you’d expect, the intensity of your workout plays a big part. Obviously, the more you sweat the more water you need to put back in. And of course, morphology and weather are important too. It stands to reason that you’ll lose more water on a hot summer’s day than in the middle of winter.
And don’t forget, you shouldn’t just think about hydration during exercise. Taking on water before and after are just as essential – to ensure you’re ready for action, and to wind down more safely once you’ve stopped.
How can you tell when you’re getting dehydrated?
Keep an eye out for these symptoms after exercise:
- Dry mouth
One of the clearest signals that your body needs more water is when your mouth starts to feel like the Gobi desert at high noon. Don’t ignore it. Make sure you stay hydrated while exercising as well as before and after.
- Muscle fatigue
Are your muscles getting tired more quickly than they usually do? This could be a sign that you need to drink water while exercising more. After all, muscles are 75% H2O and when that’s in short supply they can’t work properly. Have a drink, a rest, then get back into it.
- Feeling dizzy
If you feel lightheaded during exercise, stop immediately, take a few minutes out and have a drink of water . If it is down to dehydration, the dizziness should soon pass and you can get on with your workout. If it persists, consult a medical professional immediately.
- Pinch yourself
You might not have heard of this one before, but our skin’s elasticity is a great indicator of how well-hydrated you are. Give yourself a little pinch and see how quickly the skin returns to normal. If the skin does not return to normal rapidly, then you may well need to drink some fluid.
To help you get as much water as an active body needs, why not try one of our Buxton Natural Mineral Water sports cap bottles next time you train? A fast and convenient way to deliver much-needed refreshment, even if you’re in the thick of things on the track, court or gym. In fact, wherever it is that you get all hot and sweaty in the pursuit of sport.
The important thing to remember is that if you want to enjoy whatever sport you love, then making sure you are staying hydrated while exercising should become as much a part of your workout as stretching and warming up.
* Water contributes to the maintenance of normal physical and cognitive function and normal regulation of body temperature.
At least 2L of water, from all sources, should be consumed per day, as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle
** Stats taken from the article How to stat hydrated before, during and after your workout!" - http://fitnessnbeauty.co.uk/2016/04/20/stay-hydrated-workout/