We know hydration is important, but we’re not always sure of the best way to keep it. Too little of it makes your body complaint, too much can compromise your performance. Let us explain in detail the consequences of poor hydration, and some tips to keep in mind.
Working out demands constant hydration, though evenly distributed. Water makes up 60% of our body’s components, adding up to 75% of our total weight. This means every fluids we lose during our workout, mainly through body-cooling sweat, can limit our performance. To give you an idea:
- A 2% reduction in body mass makes your walking performance drop by 22%;
- A 4% reduction in body mass makes your walking performance drop by 48%;
- A 7% reduction in body mass can make your whole body collapse;
Your body indicates this mass reduction by increased fatigue, thirst, loss of appetite, red skin, heat intolerance and darker, more concentrated urine. All are normal symptoms during a workout, but too many of them should be taken seriously.
Firstly, avoid sodas or soft drinks at least two hours before your workout. These drinks cause your abdomen to dilate. You should also avoid coffee and alcohol, as they accelerate dehydration.
Ideally, so everything goes well and you can enjoy your sport in the best way possible, start by drinking 300 to 500ml one hour before starting. During your workout, you should replenish with 100 to 150ml each 15 to 20 minutes, or and evenly spaced liter of liquid per hour. In the two hours following the workout, it’s also important to keep rehydrating, so as to regain up to 150% of any body mass lost in about six hours.
Keep these values in mind, and you’ll be more than ready to enjoy your sport in a totally healthy way — as you should always!