Staying hydrated is an important part of maintaining your overall wellness and keeping yourself balanced. It becomes absolutely vital when you are working out, though. Improper hydration during periods of stress can have a profound impact on both your performance during the event and your ability to keep going with your daily routine later. Since your workout is a period of controlled stress, it’s important that it also be a period of controlled hydration.
Starting Out Hydrated
Going into the exercise period hydrated is vital. For a couple hours before you work out, limit your caffeine intake and drink water or an electrolyte-enhanced sports drink. That way, you will be primed for exercise when you start.
Hydrating During Your Workout
Drink plenty of water or electrolyte supporting sports drink during your workout, but make sure you don’t over-drink at any one point. If you go without drinking and then overdo it, you can get sick. If you drink too much up front, you can also get sick. The best approach is to consistently drink small amounts throughout your workout.
Caffeine and Your Workout
Caffeine has been shown to help with metabolism and to give people energy before and during workouts when it is used in moderation. Overdoing it can make you irritable or even make it hard to stay on task while you work out, so if you do use caffeine around your workout times, make sure you pay attention to how much. A single cup of coffee can do wonders for you, but two might be too many. Make sure you drink water before and after having caffeine, too, because it is a diuretic so it will contribute to hydration issues.
Hydrating After Your Workout
Make sure you replenish fluids after working out, too. Even if you hydrate during your workout, you are likely to deplete yourself. If you are training and you need protein, taking it as a shake can help you replenish hydration while getting your nutrition, otherwise it is a good idea to use plenty of water.
Hydration during your workout isn’t just about what you drink while you are exercising. It’s about how you support your hydration needs throughout your entire day. Make sure you are adequately planning for before and after your workout too.