You know it’s important to stay hydrated, especially in the gym. When you’re working up a sweat, your body demands an equal intake of fluids.
But do you realize just how important that really is? And do you understand the best way to go about hydration in between exercises?
Why: Four Reasons to Stay Hydrated
Hydration influences countless functions within your body. Dehydration, on the other hand, might not be immediately obvious beyond a fierce thirst after you finish working out. When you’re dehydrated, there are a lot of important things happening under the surface—all good reasons to start drinking before the urge grows to its peak.
1) Promote normal body function
Perhaps the simplest argument for staying well-hydrated, and easily one of the most important: it’s crucial for normal body function. That means real consequences for being dehydrated in the gym. Chronic dehydration may undermine your health gains and slow or halt the growth of your fitness
2) Avoid headaches
This is a simple one: dehydration causes headaches. That means a failure to quench your thirst throughout your workout can leave you in that all-too-familiar groggy, painful state. It can even trigger migraines, if you’re susceptible to them.
3) Stay Energized
All the cells in your body need water. Part of that includes the cells that generate energy in your body. When you don’t stay hydrated, it can lead to increased fatigue and lowered energy levels. Not good for your gym endeavors!
4) Enjoy a faster recovery
Exercise isn’t about the burn, it’s about the recovery. Your body reacts to the damage you’ve done and rebuilds stronger than ever. But without proper hydration (and nutrients and protein), this system fails and you just end up more torn up, more miserable, and weaker the next time you hit the gym.
How: Three Tips to Keep You Hydrated
So now you know why it’s important to stay hydrated when you’re in the gym. But how do you make sure you’re probably hydrated? Good gym hydration isn’t just a question of drinking, but how you drink and what you drink. Keep these things in mind the next time you need to quench your thirst.
1) Drink early
If you’re thirsty, you’re drinking too late. Make sure you hydrate well before you hit the gym and periodically throughout your workout. Not only will it keep you better hydrated throughout, frequent sipping settles easier in your stomach than emergency guzzling does.
2) Stick to water
Drinking calories is very rarely a good idea. If you’re looking to bulk up in a big way, you might want protein in the gym, but that brings its own problems to the untrained stomach. For pure hydration, drink water. Sports drinks won’t do the trick; sugar can undo the benefits of your gym activities.
3) Use a refill station
Using a hydration station helps you develop regular hydration as a gym habit. As an added bonus, you’ll save money by filling up at the gym, rather than purchasing expensive bottle water!
The number one thing you should do during a workout is stay hydrated. it’s essential for your health, and to see the best results.