Water is more than just an excuse to stop and catch your breath while you exercise. Water is the most overlooked but necessary nutrient for athletes. As you lose water from your body via sweat, you’ll need to replace that fluid with new water to stay healthy and stop dangerous effects of dehydration. Understanding the importance of water during exercise means appreciating your water break.
Your body perspires to cool itself down during exertion, which means you lose water during exercise. The body can lose several litres of water during a one-hour period of exercise, so you’ll need to replace that water or face the effects of dehydration. Of course, water isn’t the only nutrient you lose during exercise. Sweat also contains both sodium and potassium, which can be a concern during longer periods of exertion, such as a marathon.
You need to drink water before, during and after exercise to maintain a level of healthy hydration. Aim for 17 to 20 ounces a couple of hours before your workout and then 8 ounces 20 to 30 minutes before you start. When in motion, plan for 7 to 10 ounces for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise and then cool down with 8 ounces within at least 30 minutes after a workout. Investing in a water bottle with measurement markings can help you ensure that you’re drinking enough.