"Water is the driving force of all nature" -Leonardo Da Vinci
Good ole H2O. Drinking water is important for all life, but drinking the right amount can make or break your exercise routine. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints as well as transferring the nutrients in your body to give you energy and keep you healthy. Signs that your body is not properly hydrated are fatigue, muscle cramps, and dizziness. One easy way to check your hydration levels is the color of your pee! If your urine is consistently colorless or light yellow you are probably drinking enough water and properly hydrated. Dark color or amber colored urine are red flags for dehydration.
So, how do you know if you are drinking enough water while you are exercising. While there is not exact science because each of our bodies are different, the first thing to consider is how much you sweat, the humidity of your location, and the length and intensity of your exercise routine.
The American Council on Exercise has suggested the following guidelines for hydration before, during, and after your workout (Familydoctor.org).
Drink 17-20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising.
Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before your work out or during your warm up.
Drink 7-10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercising.
Drink 8 ounces of water no more that 30 minutes after your work out.
Use these general guidelines to help prevent dehydration and keep your body running at peak physical levels. Always check with your doctor if experiencing unusual symptoms or if you have unique conditions affecting your work out routines.
Familydoctor.org. (2016). Athletes: The importance of good hydration. Exercise Basics. Retrieved from http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/exercise-fitness/exercise-basics/athletes-the-importance-of-good-hydration.html