Drinking enough water each day is crucial for your health and overall functions of your body. But what happens when you find yourself not drinking enough water? And what impact does dehydration have on your body, especially after exercise? Here’s what you need to know from Amanda Williams, MPH.
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Dehydration can impact numerous functions in your body, including your metabolism and your sweat rate. Your metabolism owes much of its function to the amount of water the body has available. When you are dehydrated, it can cause a reduction in your workouts. Sweat is how your body regulates temperature. When you sweat less, the effort can feel harder, which can leave you at risk of overheating. This is why having water is so important when you’re going to workout.
So, what is the perfect amount of hydration?
Here is what lead researchers suggest –
Total water intake each day: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that women drink 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water each day.
Before exercise: The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends drinking about 500 ml of fluid (about 17 ounces) two hours before exercise.
During and after exercise: The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 7 to 10 fluid ounces every 10 to 20 minutes, and 16 to 24 fl oz. for every pound of body weight lost after exercise.
Here’s how to do it
While that may seems like too many numbers to count while you’re working out, here’s a trick! Heather Milton, MS, RCEP, CSCS, an exercise physiologist and clinical specialist at NYU Langone’s Sports Performance Center has a great suggestion – “Weigh yourself before you begin to work out, then again after your workout is done. Compare the numbers to calculate how much you’ve lost. That number is your sweat rate.”
Another tip? Ditch your sports drink for Alkalizer! According to Amanda Williams, MPH, of InVite® Health, “It is not that we simply need to follow water hydration guidelines, but we also need to understand the important of rebalancing our electrolytes after excessive fluid-loss.” To do this, Williams suggests replacing and restoring your minerals with magnesium and potassium. A superior alkalizer powder – easily mixed into water during or after your workout – can provide you with these nutrients. They’ve been shown in studies to maintain pH balance in the body, support energy production, and even muscle and bone health.