Nutritious Nuggets: Are you drinking enough water during exercise?

Get ready, because I’m about to drop some water knowledge this week as the temperatures start to rise up in the 90s and above. You’ve heard it plenty of times from your FitWit trainers, but water is so dang important ESPECIALLY if you’re working out outdoors. If you’re not drinking enough water you automatically put yourself on the T.R.A.S.H.E.D board – aka not the day for you to go all out and beat your PRs.

Why is workout hydration important?

When exercising, your body needs water to help regulate A LOT; it’s keeping your body temperature regulated by sweating, pumping blood to your muscles to carry O2 and nutrients, as well as carry waste away. And, most importantly pumping blood through the heart to maintain cardiac output.

If you’re dehydrated,  your bodies blood volume is going to naturally decrease due to the water loss, as well as prioritize cardiac function. This means;

  1. Your blood gets more concentrated and thicker making your heart have to work HARDER to pump blood to your muscles and other organs.
  2. Your body’s ability to self regulate its temperature is decreased.
  3. Your body is naturally going to decrease your intensity that way it doesn’t need to work so hard.

What happens when you’re dehydrated?

First off, working out when you’ve been skimping out on water feels UNCOMFORTABLE like you’re holding an extra 15 lb kettlebell on your body. Low energy, headache, dizzy, dry mouth are all pretty common side effects of mild dehydration. If dehydration is severe it can become a medical emergency. That’s right, sirens in the background, you can have a heat stroke, kidney failure, seizures, etc. So please, please stay hydrated.

How much water should you drink during exercise to improve performance?

On average you should consume about 8oz/1 cup of water every 15 minutes during exercise. This varies based on body size, the temperature and how much energy you are exerting (so anytime you are doing the fan bike, erg, running you should definitely increase this amount)!

Staying hydrated before, during, and after your workout will help you perform better, recover faster, feel more energized and most likely less sore the next day; so bottoms up!

Recipe: Cucumber Lime Gatorade

  • ½ cucumber
  • 2 limes, peeled
  • 1½ cups of coconut water
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions: Juice the cucumber and lime in a juicer or you can blend in a blender then take out the pulp. Mix the juice with coconut water and a pinch of salt. Enjoy chilled or over ice as a natural Gatorade!