Did you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight? This is why staying hydrated is so important; water is used in the body to maintain temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. However, while working out we lose water from our bodies and these important functions can be hindered. There are several factors that affect the amount of water lost during exercise including room temperature, the amount of sweat lost, and the duration and intensity of the exercise. If we exercise in a temperature that is too hot we lose water through sweating and if we exercise in a temperature that is too cold we can lose our ability to recognize fluid loss. Our bodies naturally sweat to help control our body temperature. If we exercise at a high intensity for too long without rehydrating we can lose too much of the water that our body needs. If the body is allowed to become dehydrated it can suffer from a loss of blood volume that causes the heart to pump harder to circulate blood. Some side effects to lowered blood volume can include muscle cramps, dizziness, fatigue, and heat illnesses.
There are several great ways to keep yourself hydrated while working out including carrying a water bottle around with you; take a quick drink of water in between exercises. Before beginning a workout it is recommended to consume about a cup of water to prepare your body for the workout. After a workout, about two cups of water for every pound lost during exercise should be consumed. When rehydrating your body the best choice is almost always water, but if you are an endurance athlete you may need to replace any sodium lost with a sports drink. Therefore, everyone is different in his or her rehydration needs but the most important thing is to stay hydrated before, during and after exercise.