Saturday, April 23, 2011

Working Out? Hydration is a Must!

As you exercise, whether to lose weight, to be fit, to have fun or as an athlete, be alert for conditions that increase fluid loss through sweating. With more perspiration, your body dehydrates faster.

Temperature: The higher the temperature around you and the more humid it is, the greater you sweat
Intensity: As you increase intensity of your workout, this increases fluid losses
Body size: The larger your size, the more you sweat. In addition, males by nature sweat more than females
Duration: As you increase the time of your workout, this increases perspiration
Fitness: Well-fit people sweat more because they sweat at lower body temperatures. This occurs because sweating cools off your body and thus well trained athletes cool their body more efficiently than untrained individuals
Now it’s important to know that if you are a swimmer, you are just like any athlete that perspires to keep your body from overheating. However, you probably don’t notice that you are sweating because you are all surrounded by water!
Moreover, even if you are exercising in a cold environment, you sweat. It could be ice skating, skiing or even ice hokey, you need to stay hydrated especially that winter sports clothes may not allow your body to breathe efficiently.
Now, we have been talking about how important it is to stay hydrated!
But what are we going to drink to ensure proper hydration?

Water is simply a good choice to replenish the fluids that are lost. It helps you lower and normalizes your body’s elevated temperature due to exercise and moves water quickly into your tissues. Now we have heard that cold water causes stomach cramps. Well, luckily that’s just a myth. Stomach cramps may be just caused by dehydration and this is good news because statistics actually shows that athletes prefer cold water, refreshes them and enhances their performance. However, if you are performing some “cold sports” make sure to rink luke warm water to avoid hypothermia (low body temperature)

Sports Drinks can benefit athletes especially in hot and humid conditions. If you are exercising for more than one hour and your workout’s intensity in high, sports drinks are usually helpful to increase endurance.

What is important is that you make sure that your sports drink’s content of carbohydrates ranges from 6-8%; that is, 14-19 g in 240 mL). This is better than diluted juice drinks because they contain around 8 % of carbohydrates which might lead to a decrease in stomach emptying, decrease the rate of fluid absorption into your tissues, diarrhea, and cramps. Now glucose in these drinks (which is the carbohydrate), fuels you in energy and for muscle glycogen that is how glucose is stored inside your muscles. This will help prevent any depletion of this glycogen, increase your endurance capacity and aid fluid restoration.
Well, that’s not all. Sports drinks contain electrolytes as well. Usually a normal balanced diet could replenish the electrolytes you lose in your sweat and by perspiration, so if you are exercising for fun, for weight loss and just for around and hour/day, drinking water + a good diet would be great. However, if you are an athlete working out intensely, sports drinks are what you need. And don’t go for vitamin enriched drinks, that’s nothing. You don’t lose vitamins while you exercise. One more thing to pay attention to are sports drinks with caffeine. Don’t go there either. One, yes, caffeine is a stimulant but you don’t really know how it affects you during exercising and two, caffeine is considered a diuretic which means it flushes water away from your body, and I am pretty sure you don’t want that.

As for alcohol, get out of here!
- Calories from alcoholic drink do not fuel your muscles
- Alcohol is a diuretic as well
- Alcohol does not have much carbs to fuel you
- It highly impairs your coordination
- And last but not least, your liver would start working on detoxifying what you had just drunk and will not be able to provide extra glucose to help you endure your workout, leading to unpreventable fatigue!
So as you see it’s easy to know what to choose to stay hydrated while you work out, just replenish and revitalize yourself!

1 comment:

  1. You must be thinking on as how a buttery fleshed avocado can become a hydrating food. It’s true that it is not a hydrating food but still it helps to hold on the water present in the body. Nutrition and Hydration Week 2014