One of the most counterproductive things you can do is doing nothing to prevent dehydration during intense workouts. We will touch on why and how it happens and how you can prevent dehydration safely without making yourself sick—and you can—if you don’t do it properly.
What is hydration?
Hydration simply means you are allowing water in your system to keep you from dehydrating. You normally need to replace only a 24 oz. bottle of water into your system in order to rehydrate after a light workout. But what most people don’t understand is how important replacing electrolytes is. To keep it simple—electrolytes are what keeps your electrical-system that keeps your heart beating and your organs working. You lose electrolytes in sweat and at the same time, you need to have electrolytes to maintain the workout. So, saying that, you need to get enough of these back into your system through diet.
The drawback to energy drinks to prevent dehydration:
It is best to use water and bananas alone or as a smoothie with strawberries and other electrolyte-positive foods. The energy drinks contain sugar and caffeine which you don’t need. The energy drinks end up being counterproductive to your workout. If you are going to spend time on an intense workout then you need to make sure you aren’t counteracting your efforts with good intentions. We normally do things that we feel are good for us because we don’t realize we are actually hurting ourselves.
How do you prevent dehydration the right way?
You can’t just simply chug down water at the wrong speed and the wrong temperature. You can hurt yourself this way and counteract the workout. The one thing to remember is steady hydration throughout and after the workout—slowly and with the right liquid.
Before the workout is also important—it is best practice to drink a bottle of at least 12 oz. of water prior to the workout. Then stop and slowly replace liquid after every set with room temperature water. This is so you don’t give yourself a cramp and if you do, this could be a painful issue. This is also not that great for your cardiovascular system either as the cold will make blood-vessels constrict which can cause a myriad of uncomfortable issues.
So when you want to prevent dehydration during an intense workout you would follow these points.
- Room temperature water
- Drink before the workout
- Drink after every set
- Drink afterwards
- Replace electrolytes with bananas and water
- Do not use energy drinks