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Hydration is key

Categories: Exercise

Now the weather is starting to get warmer the importance of staying hydrated when your exercising is paramount.

Serious side effects can happen if you become dehydrated. They can range from:

  • Being thirsty
  • Dry mouth
  • Dark urine/not going to the toilet
  • Dry skin
  • Headaches
  • Muscle cramps
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Fast breathing
  • Confusion and tiredness
  • Fainting

Your body needs water to survive, it’s in the cells in your body, helps to control your heart rate, blood pressure and brain function. You can lose water through sweat, urine, tears and poo you’re your normal bodily functions) and you can replace water easily by drinking.

When you exercise you need to drink more to replace the additional fluids lost through sweat. When its warmer weather you’re going to sweat more so you’re likely going to need to drink more.

As a general rule of thumb if you’re exercising and running for less than 60 minutes you won’t need to drink lots of additional fluids. If you’re planning on a longer session, then it’s time to think about what you need to drink.

On long runs if you find you’re sweating a lot, then not only do you need water but also need to replace the lost electrolytes. This is where energy drinks, sachets and gels can benefit you.

Electrolytes are salts and minerals that include sodium and potassium that are in the blood. They conduct the electrical impulses in the body. This is why when you’re dehydrated; your normal bodily functions don’t work effectively and at a worst case cause your body to shut down.

You can monitor how much water you lose during long runs and exercise by weighing yourself pre and post exercise without taking on additional fluids. This gives you a base line figure to work with, for how much fluid your need to take on board to continue to function at your best.

Once you have this information you can start to plan regular intervals when you need to drink during your runs and training, this will help prevent dehydration symptoms and you can even maximise your performance by maintaining your energy levels for long periods of time.