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Why Hydration Is Important During Exercise

2 min read

By Will Vickery |  Published

Remaining hydrated is incredibly important no matter how much you exercise. The benefits of keeping well hydrated are numerous and have an effect on every aspect of your life. With the weather now getting warmer and our new year’s fitness resolutions starting to work their way into our daily routines, it can be difficult to maintain our hydration levels, especially during prolonged or high-intensity exercise.

What Is Dehydration?

There are many different ways that people have measured dehydration, but without lab equipment to test blood samples, it can be difficult to find one easy-to-do measurement to check if you are dehydrated. There are, however, a combination of tests that can be easily completed to give a fairly good indication of how dehydrated you are.

The WUT, or weight, urine, thirst system is a combination of observations that people can maintain themselves to check their level of dehydration. On their own, checking your current weight against your hydrated weight, checking how dark your urine is and feeling thirsty are not necessarily good measurements of dehydration, but when monitored together, they can be an effective way to check your hydration.

Why Is Hydration Important During Exercise?

Being well hydrated has benefits all throughout the day, however when we exercise this becomes even more important as we lose water through sweat and breath. Long-term dehydration can lead to a variety of problems, including back pain, headaches, depression, high blood pressure, digestive disorders and more.

Being dehydrated can also mean that you have to work harder during exercise, as it leads to a lower blood volume, meaning your heart must work harder to pump blood around your body.

How To Maintain Hydration

It may sound obvious, but maintaining good hydration means making sure that you are taking in as much water as your body is losing. To achieve this, the NHS recommends drinking 6-8 cups of water per day, roughly translating to 1.5-2 litres. When you exercise, this will need to increase to … the amount of water you are losing through sweat and your breath.

When you exercise, it is important not only to maintain hydration during exercise, but also to make sure that you are properly hydrated before you begin. If you’re dehydrated before you begin exercising, your body temperature will rise faster, and your heart will work harder than if you were to start your exercising hydrated.

During exercise it is also important to maintain your hydration levels. To achieve this, it is best to drink regularly throughout your exercise, around 7-10 ounces (200-300ml) every 10-20 minutes, although this may need to be higher for longer or more intense periods of exercise.

To maintain this intake of water, having an easy supply of fresh, great tasting water available is vital. And the best way to ensure that the water you are drinking is the best quality possible is with a bottled or mains-fed water dispenser. Whether this is for your home, workplace or gym, we supply a range of dispensers to suit all locations. So why not try one of our free trials now?