Water is the most important “supplement” there is. Proper hydration is essential. 60-80% of the human body is made up of water, and it is necessary for functions such as moving nutrients throughout the body, maintaining blood volume, and regulating body temperature. Proper hydration improves performance and overall wellbeing and enhances metabolic capabilities. Dehydration leads to reduced strength, endurance, mental focus, and recovery.
Fluid changes in the body can be reflected in body weight, and research suggests that weight loss of 2% from water has adverse effects on performance. If you wait until you’re thirsty to hydrate, you’re already behind!
There are many ways to calculate how much water to drink daily. Aiming to drink a gallon a day if you’re a healthy individual engaging in regular physical activity is a good start, and this can be increased if needed. Hydrating properly AROUND your workout is important too!
Recommendations for Replenishing Fluid During Exercise:
-Drink 14-22oz water 2 hours before exercise.
-Drink 6-12oz water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise.
-Drink a sports drink with electrolytes and up to 8% carbohydrate if exercising for longer than an hour.
-Katy Hair, RD, LDN, CPT