Most people think that hydrating is about drinking a lot of water while working out, but is that really true? You may be surprised to find that hydrating isn’t what you think it is, so read on to find out the truth about how to hydrate the right way!
Water Will Do
Many of us turn to a sports drink after an intense workout, thinking that our bodies need the electrolytes and extra sugar after sweating it out for 30 to 60 minutes. The truth is that a sports drink like Gatorade is only necessary once you pass the 60-minute mark and you approach 90 minutes of vigorous exercise.
Your body doesn’t lose that many electrolytes in under an hour, and a bit of water with a post-workout snack of 200 to 300 calories will keep you hydrated. If your workout lasts for an hour or less, water will do nicely!
Be Wary with Caffeine
I’ve heard of people having a little bit of coffee before heading off to the gym for an intense workout, and I know the caffeine can give you a nice little energy boost, stimulate your metabolism, and help you make it through the workout. As long as you don’t drink more than two cups of coffee per day, you won’t have to worry about dehydrating yourself.
There is a common myth that drinking coffee will make you thirsty, but all it will do is speed up your body and make you feel the need to pee. As long as you keep drinking enough water throughout the day, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Many people try to drink only when their bodies tell them that they are thirsty, but by that time it may be too late. When your body finally sends out signals that you are thirsty, you’ve already burned off 1% of your body’s weight in water. Reaching the 2% mark begins dehydration, which is when your performance decreases and you start slowing down.
Instead of waiting until your body says, “Give me to drink”, start hydrating regularly during your workout. Take a sip of water every four exercises, or every few minutes. You don’t want to overdo it on drinking, as that will lead to cramps. But it’s essential that you start drinking water BEFORE you feel thirst.
Find Ways to Hydrate
This is a myth that you need to bust right now! While water makes up about 80% of your daily hydration, it’s not the only thing that you should be drinking in order to avoid getting dehydrated. You’ll find that there are many other things you can eat or drink to stay hydrated.
For example, fruits like melon and watermelon are loaded with liquid, and vegetables like cucumbers as well. Milk and yoghurt can both help you to hydrate, and you’ll find that soups and stews will give you plenty of liquid. Water may be the best, but it’s not the only way to hydrate.
Watch Your Urine
You’ll find that keeping an eye on your pee is a good way to see how you’re doing with your hydration. Contrary to popular myth, however, clear urine isn’t the ideal. In fact, clear urine is a sign you may be drinking TOO MUCH water.
Instead, your pee should be a slightly off-yellow, almost sort of a lemonade color. This indicates that your body has enough time to fill the waste water with toxins and other garbage to eliminate, and that you’re drinking the right amount of water. Any darker, and it’s time to start drinking more.