Now that exercising has become a social status symbol and there are so many people training for the very first time in their lives just to look good and compete with the “Joneses”, it is interesting to realise how the little details regarding balance go almost unnoticed by the masses out there.
One of those details is hydration and I have witnessed so many individuals undergoing training without sipping any liquids before, during or after exercise, regardless of the discipline involved or intensity of the training.
Similarly, there are people who like to use the steam and sauna at spas and leisure centres just to sweat out some of their excess weight (instead of investing in much needed self discipline, a careful diet and regular exercise) but are completely oblivious to the fact that they are only self-harming by causing dehydration. In addition, when the body sweats it loses much needed minerals too.
While they aim to lose weight the lazy way, in real terms it becomes a painful show of tremendous ignorance as it actually causes an imbalance in the entire body system and affects the functioning of the internal organs.
In general, drinking enough water on a daily basis is vital to regulate the body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep all the organs functioning properly.
In addition, staying hydrated also improves the quality of sleep, cognitive functions, and mood. Interestingly, the human brain is formed mostly of water therefore the lack of hydration will have a direct impact on it.
According to specialist studies, even the smallest level of dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can severely impair many aspects of brain function. Therefore it only makes me wonder why so many people chose to dismiss the importance of hydration while they are in training.
In a study of young women, it became obvious that fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration whilst increasing the regularity of headaches. It is equally shocking to see people gobble down too much water in one go or at completely irregular intervals as well.
It is worth highlighting now that water consumed in a balanced manner does assist muscles and joints to work better in tandem. You see, when the human body is well hydrated, the water inside and outside the cells of contracting muscles provides much needed nutrients and removes waste which eventually lead to a superior performance.
In conclusion, from now on do yourself a favour and drink enough water sensibly each day especially if you are attending training sessions. Remember to intake 6-12 oz of fluid every 15-20 minutes during your workout.
Whilst so many characters out there think it is absolutely fine to complete training and immediately hit the bars, pubs, ice cream parlours or pile up on cake and coffee, believe me, you are defeating the entire purpose of training itself!
After a heavy work out session what you need the most to recover efficiently is to consume protein, carbs and water! More precisely, for every pound lost after exercise, you should add 20-24 fluid oz of water to re-hydrate.