Hydrating During Exercise

total gym hydrate

Good… Good… Good… Good Hydration

Tips for hydrating during exercise this summer.
Summer is in full swing and hopefully you are sticking to your regular exercise routine or modifying it, just a little bit, for a well-deserved vacation.  Even if you are working out on your home gym in the comfort of your AC, hydrating during your workout is just as important as hydrating before your workout and after.

Your body contains over 70% water – imagine a grape turning into a raisin.
Just as a car cannot run without the proper type and amount of oil, your body cannot get the maximum benefit out of your home workout routine without the right fluids.  As you exercise, your body temperature naturally rises. You then perspire in order to “cool off”.  If the surrounding temperature in which you are exercising exceeds the temperature of your body, as it can do when the summer temperatures soar into the triple digits, you will perspire more profusely in order to get and stay cool – this can lead to dehydration.  Staying hydrated during exercise helps prevent muscle cramps and keeps your body healthy and strong.

Drink it up!
The types of fluids you use to hydrate DO matter.  Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine as their diuretic effects only serve to pull more water OUT of your body.  The best choices for hydration are drinks that contain electrolytes like sodium and potassium.  If you are doing a very aggressive or lengthy workout, you may also need minerals such as calcium and magnesium to replenish those lost through perspiration.

Sweat is good, Rehydration is priceless!
There are many sports drinks available nowadays…try to avoid artificially sweetened choices as these beverages aren’t useful for us metabolically.  And don’t forget about good old-fashioned H2O!  A good rule of thumb in terms of how much to drink is about 4-8 ounces of fluid for every 15 minutes of exercise.  So, drink up and keep up your workout routine this summer. You will look and feel great in the hot summer months ahead!

Until next time…stay cool and enjoy your home gym!

Elizabeth Salada, MD, MPH
Internal Medicine and Wellness

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