Hydration is something that everyone has heard a lot about. From advertisements, TV shows, or other people, sometimes you just get reminded to stay hydrated out of nowhere. But what are hydration and dehydration exactly? And why should you hydrate yourself during sports activities?
For many years now, manufacturers have come up with awesome products to help people stay hydrated at all times. A great product like a metal insulated sports water bottle, for example, has helped people stay hydrated even during intense sports activities. So in this article, we are going to learn more about this topic, and hopefully, we will realize how important it is to stay hydrated.
What is hydration?
First of all, our bodies consist of mostly liquid. And without enough fluids in the body, it can’t function at its best. Hydration means the amount of water that is enough to keep the body functioning at its best. The amount of water itself is difficult to measure accurately, since there are several factors that can affect it. Factors such as climatic condition, clothing, health, intensity and duration of the activity, and so on.
To make it easier for you to determine whether you need more water or not, there are several conditions that you should be aware of:
- Sweating heavily.
- Some ailments like cystic fibrosis, diabetes, or heart disease.
- Bigger body size.
- Doing vigorous exercise.
- Being active in warm or humid conditions.
Some people would believe that being thirsty is an indicator to start drinking. But the fact is when you feel thirsty, you are probably already dehydrated. You can also take a look at the color of your urine. Pale and clear urine means you’re properly hydrated. The darker the urine is, the more water you need to drink. Also, if you don’t sweat enough during sports activity, it means you are dehydrated.
What is dehydration?
The state of dehydration is when your body’s water content is simply not enough. When this happens, your body will show some signs that it needs water. These signs are:
- Dry nasal passages.
- Dark-colored urine.
- Muscle cramps.
- Mood changes.
These are some of the most common symptoms of dehydration. It’s recommended to start drinking water immediately once you feel one of these signs. If you don’t rehydrate, your physical and mental capabilities will go down immensely. This can be easily observed during any sports activity. If this goes on for much longer, you may experience even more severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. And keep in mind that you can’t train your body to handle dehydration, no matter how many times you dehydrate yourself. So please drink enough water immediately.
How much water should I drink while exercising?
In this section, we are going to learn about how much water is enough water. Again, there are no exact rules about the correct amount of water you should drink. Everyone’s body is different, and your body knows better than anyone else. Sweat rate, humidity, and heat can affect your body a lot, so the worse the situation is, the more water you’re going to need.
That said, there are some basic guidelines that you can use as a benchmark. The guidelines are:
- Drink 17-20 ounces of water at least two hours before you start exercising.
- Drink eight ounces of water at least 30 minutes after you finish exercising.
- Drink eight ounces of water at least 20 minutes before you start warming up.
- Drink seven to 10 ounces of water every 10 minutes during exercise.
Overall, the guidelines are very easy to follow and some important keys we can take here are drinking water before, during, and after exercise. I think the timing here is more important than the amount of water you drink. If the timing is right, it means you drink water at a regular interval. In the end, your body will get enough water throughout the day.
Hydration and dehydration are two essential things that everyone should know about. Many people are underestimating the effects of dehydration, and it slowly hinders their physical and mental performance. So make sure you drink enough water every day, especially during sports activities.