This week we are going to tackle questions about hydration and training. When are sports drinks appropriate and when is it best to just stick to water?
It is best to begin exercise well hydrated. You can accomplish this by drinking fluids during the day and within 1 hour before your workout. While you are exercising it is also important to drink fluids to replace sweat losses. Then when you are finished your workout you’ll need to replace fluids lost during exercise. To determine how much fluid you lost during your workout weigh yourself prior to working out and then again afterward. Excessive fluid loss (>2% body weight loss) can lead to dehydration. Signs of dehydration are early fatigue, cardiovascular stress, increased risk of heat illness and decreased performance.
Here is a guideline to assist you in making sure you are hydrating well and with the appropriate choices.
- For short duration (<60 min) at low to moderate intensity activity, water is the best choice for before, during and after exercise.
- Longer duration (>60 min) at moderate to high intensity activities, sports drinks are ideal to replace carbohydrates and electrolytes.
- Low Intensity Exercise: feels easy.
Clues your exercise is low intensity:
You have no noticeable changes in your breathing pattern.
You don’t break a sweat (unless it is hot or humid)
You can easily carry on a full conversation or even sing.
- Moderate Intensity Exercise: feels somewhat hardClues your exercise is moderate intensity:
Your breathing quickens, but you’re not out of breath.
You develop a light sweat after about 10 min of activity.
You can carry on a conversation but cannot sing.
- High Intensity Exercise: feels challenging.Clues your exercise is high intensity:
Your breathing is deep and rapid.
You develop a sweat after a few minutes of activity.
You can’t say more than a few words without pausing for breath.