The Benefits of Hydration During Exercise + Our 31-Day Hydration Challenge

Did you know the body is made up of approximately 50-60% water?

A specific amount of water must be consumed each day in order to survive – an amount that varies by person based on individual needs. For everyone, maintaining proper hydration is essential to regulate blood volume and maintain body temperature, which is especially important during exercise. During the month of May we will hosting a hydration challenge, which is a great opportunity for you to focus on improving your daily hydration habits.

Benefits of hydration during exercise:

  • Delays fatigue
  • Maintains mental focus
  • Helps with agility
  • Reduces stress on the heart
  • Improves regulation of body temperature
  • Aids with recovery

Impact of dehydration during exercise:

  • Increased body temperature
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Increased heart rate
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Muscle cramping
  • Signs of dehydration include dark urination, infrequent urination, weight loss and muscle cramping

The best way to gauge hydration status is by monitoring urine color and amount:

Pre-exercise hydration:

The goal is to begin activity well-hydrated to minimize injury, fatigue, and muscle cramping, and aid in performance. Athletic performance can decline with as little as 2% decrease in hydration status, so it is important to stay ahead with hydration. The following chart is a good guide to estimate how much fluids to consume before a workout:

 Body weight Oz. of fluid
<100lbs 8-12
100-119lbs 8-14
120-139lbs 8-18
140-159lbs 10-20
160-179lbs 12-22
180-199lbs 12-16
200-219lbs 14-28
220-239lbs 16-30
240+lbs 16-32

 

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During exercise hydration:

The goal is to maintain hydration throughout activity to maximize performance and improve your body’s ability to recover. Not only is hydration from water necessary, but it is also important to maintain electrolyte balance during exercise. Electrolytes – sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium – are essential in carrying out many body functions. When electrolyte imbalances occur it can lead to muscle cramping, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, constipation, confusion, and even fainting.

The following is a good guide to help maintain fluid and electrolyte balance during exercise:

Activity less than 60 minutes or moderate intensity | only water is necessary for fluid replacement
Aim for 20oz/hour of water or 4oz every 15 minutes

Activity more than 60 minutes or high intensity | an electrolyte replacement drink is preferred
Aim for 4oz sports drink every 15 minutes

Electrolyte replacement is especially important in hot and humid conditions. Experiment during training to find the types and amounts of fluids that work for you.

Post-exercise hydration:

It is important to include fluids and electrolytes as part of your post-workout recovery to replace what was lost during exercise. The most accurate way to find out how much to consume post-exercise is to calculate your sweat rate. This will show you how much fluids were lost during exercise, and how much fluid to consume based off of the amount lost. If exercise is longer than 60 minutes a combination of water and electrolytes is the best to restore hydration status and electrolyte balance.

How to calculate sweat rate:

  • Weigh yourself prior to exercise
  • Weigh yourself immediately after exercise
  • Pre-workout weight minus post-workout weight = Sweat rate
 Pounds lost Fluid Ounces within 30 minutes
0-1 18-22
1-2 22-44
2-3 44-64
3+ Consult with physician or dietitian

Tips to stay hydrated:

  • Drink water throughout the day. Leave a reusable water bottle or glass at your desk at work to refill throughout the day.
  • Fruits and vegetables have high water content and can boost fluid intake. Examples of foods with high water content include – cucumbers, watermelon, mixed greens, eggplant, apple, tomatoes, cantaloupe, zucchini, bell peppers, pears, pineapple, carrots, mango, grapefruit, orange, broccoli, berries, celery, grapes, and kiwi.
  • Consume adequate fluids before, during, and after exercise.
  • Drink sports drink if exercise is longer than 60 minutes, or in hot and humid conditions, to reduce risk of fluid-electrolyte imbalances. Electrolyte replacement drinks can be store bought or home-made (check out our homemade Piña Colada Refresher Recipe here). My favorite store bought electrolyte drink is Nuun Hydration tablets that can be used in any water bottle or glass of water.
  • Limit sugary beverages like soda or juice, coffee drinks, and energy drinks, which can be dehydrating.

The Performance Health & Fitness Hydration Challenge

We recommend finding small ways to improve your overall health and wellness every day. One habit that takes time and persistence to learn is drinking enough water throughout the day. It sounds easy enough, but how often do you find yourself at lunch time realizing you haven’t had any water to drink all morning? How often do you forget to bring a water bottle to work and find it’s too inconvenient to take multiple trips to the water fountain?

To help encourage small habits that can make a big impact, we’re hosting a month-long hydration challenge. The rules are simple: weight yourself. Divide your bodyweight in pounds by two (half). That number is how many ounces of water you should aim to drink per day. For each day you reach your goal, fill in the water drop. To give yourself extra motivation, start the challenge off by identifying what a reasonable reward should be that’s personal, desirable, and attainable. Perhaps a new reusable water bottle for your office or car? 🙂

Join the fun – download the FREE hydration challenge worksheet here.

 


 

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About Ashley Pearson, Registered Dietitian

Ashley Pearson, Registered DietitianAshley has been passionate about nutrition and physical activity since high school, where she developed her love for running and nutrition. Ashley has completed multiple marathons, and other road races, and understands how to properly fuel the body before, during, and after a workout, race, or game to maximize performance.

Ashley has had a variety of experiences from the food industry, to sports nutrition, to inpatient care. Prior to joining the Performance team, she spent 5 years in the Chicago area specializing in weight management, and medical nutrition therapy for chronic diseases.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters, as well as running, cooking, and traveling.

Tom P

Since joining Performance, I have made huge gains. The process of recovering from knee surgery has been much easier because of the expertise of the Performance staff in helping me get back to full strength. I would recommend this gym to anyone.*

About Ashley Pearson, Registered Dietitian

Ashley Pearson, Registered DietitianAshley has been passionate about nutrition and physical activity since high school, where she developed her love for running and nutrition. Ashley has completed multiple marathons, and other road races, and understands how to properly fuel the body before, during, and after a workout, race, or game to maximize performance.

Ashley has had a variety of experiences from the food industry, to sports nutrition, to inpatient care. Prior to joining the Performance team, she spent 5 years in the Chicago area specializing in weight management, and medical nutrition therapy for chronic diseases.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters, as well as running, cooking, and traveling.

Kim C

Performance Fitness Member

“I joined Performance and it has changed my life. Gone are the days when I dreaded trying on clothes at the store, Thanks to Performance, I feel like a super fit mom.”*

About Ashley Pearson, Registered Dietitian

Ashley Pearson, Registered DietitianAshley has been passionate about nutrition and physical activity since high school, where she developed her love for running and nutrition. Ashley has completed multiple marathons, and other road races, and understands how to properly fuel the body before, during, and after a workout, race, or game to maximize performance.

Ashley has had a variety of experiences from the food industry, to sports nutrition, to inpatient care. Prior to joining the Performance team, she spent 5 years in the Chicago area specializing in weight management, and medical nutrition therapy for chronic diseases.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters, as well as running, cooking, and traveling.

Seth D

Performance Fitness Member

Under the guidance of trainers, I have been able to decrease my 5K time from 28 minutes to under 20 minutes in just 2 years.  I have also lost 30 pounds while increasing strength, endurance and power.*

About Ashley Pearson, Registered Dietitian

Ashley Pearson, Registered DietitianAshley has been passionate about nutrition and physical activity since high school, where she developed her love for running and nutrition. Ashley has completed multiple marathons, and other road races, and understands how to properly fuel the body before, during, and after a workout, race, or game to maximize performance.

Ashley has had a variety of experiences from the food industry, to sports nutrition, to inpatient care. Prior to joining the Performance team, she spent 5 years in the Chicago area specializing in weight management, and medical nutrition therapy for chronic diseases.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters, as well as running, cooking, and traveling.

Connie R

Training over the last few years at Performance has been the best health decision I have ever made.  Leslie, my current trainer, keeps me on track to stay fit and strong, makes our sessions interesting and challenging, and is always positive, even when I have setbacks.*

About Ashley Pearson, Registered Dietitian

Ashley Pearson, Registered DietitianAshley has been passionate about nutrition and physical activity since high school, where she developed her love for running and nutrition. Ashley has completed multiple marathons, and other road races, and understands how to properly fuel the body before, during, and after a workout, race, or game to maximize performance.

Ashley has had a variety of experiences from the food industry, to sports nutrition, to inpatient care. Prior to joining the Performance team, she spent 5 years in the Chicago area specializing in weight management, and medical nutrition therapy for chronic diseases.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters, as well as running, cooking, and traveling.

Barry C Testimonial
Barry C

Performance Fitness Member

“I am a competitive cyclist and have been in personal training at Performance for 6 years. The best part about the trainers is that they know our medical histories very well.  Leslie is great at modifying a training session specifically to each individual person’s limitations so as to avoid injury.”*

About Ashley Pearson, Registered Dietitian

Ashley Pearson, Registered DietitianAshley has been passionate about nutrition and physical activity since high school, where she developed her love for running and nutrition. Ashley has completed multiple marathons, and other road races, and understands how to properly fuel the body before, during, and after a workout, race, or game to maximize performance.

Ashley has had a variety of experiences from the food industry, to sports nutrition, to inpatient care. Prior to joining the Performance team, she spent 5 years in the Chicago area specializing in weight management, and medical nutrition therapy for chronic diseases.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters, as well as running, cooking, and traveling.

Pat S

Performance Fitness Member

“I’m retired and enjoy a full, active life. This is due, in no small part, to the time I spend at Performance. The group classes provide a great workout and lots of variety. Plus, a fun way to meet new friends!”*

About Ashley Pearson, Registered Dietitian

Ashley Pearson, Registered DietitianAshley has been passionate about nutrition and physical activity since high school, where she developed her love for running and nutrition. Ashley has completed multiple marathons, and other road races, and understands how to properly fuel the body before, during, and after a workout, race, or game to maximize performance.

Ashley has had a variety of experiences from the food industry, to sports nutrition, to inpatient care. Prior to joining the Performance team, she spent 5 years in the Chicago area specializing in weight management, and medical nutrition therapy for chronic diseases.

In her free time, Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters, as well as running, cooking, and traveling.

*Results may vary