When you’re working out, sweaty and thirsty, you’re likely to think about drinking some water. But it’s just as important to think about it BEFORE you work out and here’s why.
Exercise and Water Basics
When exercising, your muscles contract and generate internal heat. To prevent overheating, the heat must be promptly dissipated via your body’s cooling mechanism (sweating). Sweat cools the surface of the skin and decreases your body temperature.
Maintaining good hydration levels during exercise is critical to regulating body temperature (thermoregulation) and regulating blood pressure. When you’re dehydrated, your body’s mechanism to get rid of heat shuts down which can result in heat exhaustion or worse yet, heat stroke.
By keeping your body adequately hydrated, you can perform at your optimal level. Without adequate water, your neuromuscular activity slows down which affects how fast and how hard your muscles can contract. As a result, you can experience a loss of strength, reduced endurance and/or slower reaction and response times. Continue reading “Pre-Exercise Hydration”→
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Water not only quenches the thirst, it’s vital for organs to function. It’s needed for digestion, to carry nutrients and oxygen, control blood pressure, and to even lubricate joints. Without enough water, skin, the largest organ in the body, can become dry and wrinkled. Do you drink enough water every day?
UPDATE: About 55 to 80% of a person’s body weight is water. Water is lost during breathing when humidified air leaves the body as well as through daily urination, sweat, and stool.
Percentage of Total Body Water Lost
In a day’s work, the body loses about 8 to 12 cups of water and all of that fluid needs to go back in. When you become dehydrated, your blood loses volume and your heart can’t circulate blood effectively. The eventual result… heart failure.
A loss of just 2% of total body water will result in stronger thirst, vague discomfort, and a loss of appetite. This percentage of can impair your exercise performance:
Decreases your sweat rate
Increases your core temperature (causing exhaustion from heat strain)
Decreases maximal cardiac output (i.e., the highest pumping capacity of the heart that can be achieved during exercise)
NOTE: A loss of only 20% of total body water could result in death.