One of the TOP things that keeps athletes from making the most of their extended workouts is dehydration. Sweating causes water loss, which can lead to tiredness, fatigue and in extreme circumstances, muscle failure.
Check out these SEVEN simple things you can do to keep dehydration from holding you back.
1. Don’t let yourself get thirsty
If you’re feeling even a LITTLE BIT thirsty, you’re becoming dehydrated. Thirst and dry mouth are your body’s way of telling you it needs more fluids. Sip water throughout your workout so you never find yourself parched.
Tip: Dizziness, poor coordination and fatigue are all signs of dehydration. While it’s natural to want to push through these conditions, it’s smarter to take a break, replenish your fluids and only start exercising again when you feel better.
Remember: Don’t begin an extreme exercise routine unless you’ve consulted with a medical professional.
2. Drink water
Sports drinks and smoothies are great, but your body still needs plain old water to stay adequately hydrated when you sweat. Target drinking eight to ten ounces of water every 15 minutes you exercise. If you work out for longer than an hour, add electrolytes to your water or consume a sports drink that contains them to replace the ones you lose during extended workouts.
Tip: Avoid OVER hydrating. It can negatively impact the concentration of salts, minerals and other nutrients in your bloodstream.
3. Eat fruit
Most fruits contain a significant amount of water. Certain ones, such as bananas and dates, are also good sources of potassium, a critical electrolyte that will help keep you functioning at your peak. Fruits also contain vitamins and healthy carbs that will keep you energized through extended training sessions.
Remember: Don’t depend exclusively on fruits to keep you hydrated. While they contain water, the amount is not enough to maintain optimal fluid levels. Sip water along with eating fruit to stay in peak form.
4. Watch your weight
Weigh yourself before and after intense workouts. A significant drop is a sign of dehydration. For every pound you lose during a workout, drink 16 ounces of a sports drink to replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
Tip: If you lose more than three percent of your body weight during a workout, you’re probably not drinking enough while exercising.
5. Use the rest room
When you go to the bathroom, pay attention to the color of your urine. Dark yellow is a sign the you’re not drinking enough water. Pale yellow indicates you’re adequately hydrated.
6. Listen to your muscles
Muscles are made up mostly of water. If you find them fatigued, aching or failing during a workout, take a fluid break. Resume activity when your muscles feel strong, energized and ready to go.
7. Pinch yourself
When your skin doesn’t have an adequate supply of water, it loses elasticity. Lightly pinch the skin on the back of your hand for a few seconds every now and then while you work out. If it doesn’t return to normal quickly, up your water intake.
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