With all this hot weather, it is important to talk about hydration and how it can affect your performance! Not only in the gym but out of it too!
Your body simply needs adequate water in order to perform at is best. We are made up of around 65% of the stuff!
What effect does dehydration have on you?
Dehydration makes your blood thicker, increasing your heart rate and decreasing the amount of blood your heart can pump with one beat and causing your blood pressure to fall. Dehydration makes it harder for fat to get into your muscles to be used for fuel, so your muscles burn the limited sugars (glycogen) already there. Since your brain is about 85% water, even mild dehydration can bring on c
hanges in your mood and a decline in your concentration and alertness affecting your performance at work!
What does this mean for your PT / Group sessions?
When we attend these sessions, we want to be performing at our maximum in order to get the most benefit! However, if we haven’t stayed hydrated throughout the day before our session, losing as little as up to 2% of your body weight in fluids can cause measurable decreases in performance. Dehydration of more than 3% of your body weight is serious, increasing the possibility of heat exhaustion and heat stroke in warm and/or humid conditions. Athletes can sweat out 6% to 10% of their body weight during competition, so you can see the importance of rehydrating after your workout!
How do I know when I am Dehydrated?
Simply waiting to feel thirsty isn’t a good indicator. If you wait until this point, and drink until you feel your thirst quenched you can still be 25% – 50% dehydrated.
A simple and easy way to tell is to use the colour of your urine. It is something you can easily do before you exercise. You may have noticed the chart conveniently placed in the TeamBreakthrough Bathroom over the last couple of weeks but you can also find hydration charts like the one to the right online.
If your urine is a very dark yellow colour, that means we are very dehydrated. What you are aiming for is within the range of a light straw colour to a light yellow.
How to get ahead
The best way to get ahead on your hydration is to know how much fluid you are losing during your workouts. This doesn’t require a long, technical, medical test. It is as simple as weighing yourself prior to exercise, record your weight, then post exercise weight yourself again.
How do I know how much to drink to replace what I lost?
You will need to drink 500ml of fluid for every pound you lose during your workout. As a good guide; rehydrate up to 150% of your fluid loss.
Prevention rather than cure
The best way to keep on top of your hydration is to maintain hydration throughout the day! Especially with the weather being as hot as it is in recent weeks, this is of upmost importance.
The official amount of how much to drink will obviously vary from person to person but the amount to aim for is about 2 litres a day!