How much should I drink fluids?
You had a jog for 20 minutes. You are hot and sweaty and you start to get tired. What is the problem? The most likely answer is that you begin to feel the effects of dehydration. As a rule, the average person is not 100 percent dehydrated. But if you carry out exercises in a warm climate, then dehydration intensifies and can create certain health problems.
You can’t be guided by the fact that the body will send us a signal about the onset of dehydration. The signal that you need to drink in the body is not as powerful as the signal that you need to eat. And the thirst mechanism becomes even less during training. Therefore, you should plan to drink early and often.
How much should I drink?
Follow these guidelines:
Before Exercise: Drink one or two cups (eight to 16 ounces) of fluid two hours before your workout to make sure you are well hydrated. Then drink another half to one cup immediately before exercise.
During exercise: Drink half to one cup every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise. Although this may seem strange at first glance, when you plan it in your regular workouts, you quickly adapt to the presence of fluid in the stomach. In fact, the fuller your stomach, the faster it will be empty.
After exercise: replace the fluid you have lost. Drink two glasses of fluid for every kilogram of body weight that you lost during exercise.
In hot, humid weather, you need to drink more than usual. (But do not forget that dehydration also occurs during cold weather, doing exercises — your body temperature rises, and you will lose water through sweat and breathing.
What to drink?
What is better than plain water or special sports drinks?
The answer to this question depends on how much and how hard you train — and how much you love water!
The ideal drink that compensates for the loss of fluid is the one that will best make up for the lost fluid. If you exercise less than one hour, the water should be simple. If you exercise for more than an hour, the fluid should supply energy to your working muscles, and in this case you need to drink about two to four cups per hour of fluids with a concentration of 4 to 8 percent carbohydrates. (Most sports drinks are in this range).
What about sodium in most sports drinks? The average athlete does not need to replace sodium or other electrolytes during exercise. Even well-trained marathon runners have enough sodium reserved to complete the competition. After heavy physical exertion, however, it is best to eat foods that contain a certain amount of sodium to replace what you may have lost.
If you compete in hyper stamina that lasts four hours or more, you must consume sports drinks that contain sodium. Fifty to 120 milligrams of sodium consumed during exercise should be enough. (The sodium content in sports drinks can range from eight to 116 milligrams. Read the label).
However, sodium can play a different role for you. Sodium helps the body absorb fluids, and along with sugar, sodium can improve the taste of the drink, which can encourage you to drink even more.
Therefore, if you like to drink a lot of water, then perhaps you should drink sports drinks if the training lasts at least one hour. But if water is not your drink, then drink drinks, but remember that they additionally contain carbohydrates and sodium.